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Jo Swerling 

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[All Bights Meseroed.] 


PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempt- 
ing to find a moral in it will be banished ; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. 




IN this book a number of dialects are used, to wit : the Missouri negro dia- 
lect ; the extremest form of the backwoods South- Western dialect ; the ordinary 
" Pike-County" dialect ; and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings 
have not been done in a hap-hazard fashion, or by guess-work ; but pains-takingly, 
and with the trustworthy guidance and support of personal familiarity with these 
several forms of speech. 

I make this explanation for the reason that without it many readers would 
suppose that all these characters were trying to talk alike and not succeeding. 





Civilizing Huck. Miss Watson Tom Sawyer Waits ..... 17 

The Boys Escape Jim. Tom Sawyer's Gang. Deep-laid Plans ... 22 


A Good Going-over. Graee Triumphant. "One of Tom Sawyers's Lies " 29 

Huck and the Judge. Superstition ...... 34 

Buck's Father. The Fond Parent. Reform ...... 39 


He Went for Judge Thatcher. Huck Decided to Leave. --Political Economy. Thrashing 

Around ........... 45 


Laying for Him. Locked in the Cabin. Sinking the Body. Resting . 53 


Sleeping in the "Woods. Raising the Dead. Exploring the Island. Finding Jim. Jim's 

Escape. Signs. Balum . . . . . . .61 

The Cave. The Floating House ........ 74 




The Find. Old Hank Bunker. In Disguise ...... 79 

Huck and the Woman. The Search. Prevarication. Going to Goshen . . 84 


Slow Navigation. Borrowing Things. Boarding the Wreck. The Plotters. Hunt- 
ing for the Boat ......... 9S 

Escaping from the Wreck. The Watchman. Sinking . . . . .102 

A General Good Time. The Harem. French . .... 109 

Huck Loses the Raft. In the Fog. Huck Finds the Raft. Trash . . .115 

Expectation. A White Lie. Floating Currency. Running by Cairo. Swimming 

Asnore ........... 122 

An Evening Call. The Farm in Arkansaw. Interior Decorations. Stephen Dowling 

Bots.- Poetical Effusions . . . . . . ' .132 

Col. Grangerford. Aristocracy. Feuds. The Testament. Recovering the Raft. -The 

Wood-pile. Pork and Cabbage ....... 143 

Tying Up Day-times. An Astronomical Theory. Running a Temperance Revival. 

The Duke of Bridgewater. The Troubles of Royalty . . . . .157 

Huck Explains. Laying Out a Campaign. Working the Camp-meeting. A Pirate at 

the Camp-meeting. The Duke as a Printer ...... 167 




Sword Exercise. Hamlet's Soliloquy. They Loafed Around Town. A Lazy Town. 

Old Boggs. Dead ......... 177 

Sherburn. Attending the Circus. Intoxication in the Ring. The Thrilling Tragedy. 189 

Sold. Royal Comparisons. Jim Gets Home-sick ..... 196 

Jim in Royal Robes. They Take a Passenger. Getting Information. Family Grief. 203 


Is It Them? Singing the " Doxologer." Awful Square Funeral Orgies. A Bad In- 
vestment . . . . . . . . . .211 


A Pious King. The King's Clergy. She Asked His Pardon. Hiding in the Room. 

Huck Takes the Money ........ 220 


The Funeral. Satisfying Curiosity. Suspicious of Huck, Quick Sales and Small 

Profits 230 


The Trip to England. "The Brute!" Mary Jane Decides to Leave. Huck Parting 

with Mary Jane. Mumps. The Opposition Line . . . . .239 


Contested Relationship. The King Explains the Loss. A Question of Handwriting. 

Digging up the Corpse. Huck Escapes . . . . . .250 

The King Went for Him. A Royal Row. Powerful Mellow . . . .261 


Ominous Plans. News from Jim. Old Recollections. A Sheep Story. Valuable In- 
formation 266 




Still and Sunday-like. Mistaken Identity. Up a Stump. In a Dilemma . . 277 

A Nigger Stealer. Southern Hospitality. A Pretty Long Blessing. Tar and Feathers . 284 

The Hut by the Ash Hopper. Outrageous. Climbing the Lightning Rod. Troubled with 

Witches .......... 293 

Escaping Properly. Dark Schemes. Discrimination in Stealing. A Deep Hole . 300 

The Lightning Rod. His Level Best. A Bequest to Posterity. A High Figure . 309 

The Last Shirt. Mooning Around. Sailing Orders. The Witch Pie . . 316 

The Coat of Arms. A Skilled Superintendent. Unpleasant Glory. A Tearful Subject . 324 

Rats. Lively Bed-fellows. The Straw Dummy ...... 333 

Fishing. The Vigilance Committee. A Lively Run. Jim Advises a Doctor. . . 339 

The Doctor. Uncle Silas. Sister Hotchkiss. Aunt Sally in Trouble . . .347 

Tom Sawyer Wounded. The Doctor's Story. Tom Confesses. Aunt Polly Arrives. 

Hand Out Them Letters ........ 355 

Out of Bondage. Paying the Captive. Yours Truly, Huck Finn . . . 364 


Huckleberry Finn. Frontispiece 

The Widow's. 

Learning about Moses and the 

rushers" .... 
Miss Watson .... 
Huck Stealing Away . ' . 
They Tip-toed Along 
Jim ..... 

Tom Sawyer's Band of Bobbers 
Huck Creeps into his Window . 
Miss Watson's Lecture 
The Robbers Dispersed 
Rubbing the Lamp 

Judge Thatcher surprised 
Jim Listening 


Huck and his Father 

Reforming the Drunkard 

Falling from Grace 

Getting out of the Way . 

Solid Comfort 

Thinking it Over 

Raising a Howl 

"Git Up" .... 

The Shanty .... 

Shooting the Pig 

Taking a Rest 


In the Woods 

Watching the Boat. 

Discovering the Camp Fire 

Jim and the Ghost 

Misto Bradish's Nigger . 

Exploring the Cave 

In the Cave ... 

Jim sees a Dead Man 

They Found Eight Dollars 

Jim and the Snake 

Old Hank Bunker . 

"A Fair Fit" 

"Come In" . 

" Him and another Man " 

She puts up a Snack 

"Hump Yourself" 

On the Raft 

He sometimes Lifted a Chicken 

" Please don't, Bill " 

" It ain't Good Morals " 

"Oh! Lordy, Lordy!" . 

In a Fix 

Hello, What's Up?" . 
The Wreck . 
We turned in and Slept . 
Turning over the Truck . 
Solomon and his Million Wives . 
The story of ' ' Sollermun " 

































" We Would Sell the Raft " . 
Among the Snags .... 
Asleep on the Raft .... 
" It Amounted to Something being a 

Raftsman" 122 

" Boy, that's a Lie " . . . .126 

"Here I is, Buck" 127 

Climbing up the Bank . . . .131 

"Who's There?" 182 

"Buck" 134 

" It made Her look Spidery " . 138 

" They got him out and emptied Him " . 140 

The House 143 

Col. Grangerford 143 

Young Harney Shepherdson . . .145 

Miss Charlotte 140 

" And asked me if I Liked Her " . . 149 
" Behind the Wood-pile " . . .153 

Hiding Day-times. . , . .157 

" And Dogs a-Coming " ... 160 

" By rights I am a Duke! "... 163 
" I am the Late Dauphin "... 165 

Tail Piece 166 

On the Raft 167 

The King as Juliet 170 

" Courting on the Sly " . . . .172 
"A Pirate for Thirty Years" . . .174 

Another little Job 175 

Practi.-ing 177 

Hamlet's Soliloquy . . . .178 

" Gimme a Chaw " .... 182 

A Little Monthly Drunk . . .185 

The Death of Boggs . . . .187 

Sherburn steps out 189 

A Dead Head 191 

He shed Seventeen Suits . 193 


Tragedy 196 

Their Pockets Bulged . . . .198 
Henry the Eighth in Boston Harbor . 200 

Harmless 203 

Adolphus 205 

He fairly emptied that Young Fellow . 207 
" Alas, our Poor Brother " . . .209 

" You Bet it is " 211 

Leaking 212 

Making up the " Defflsit "... 215 
Going for him . . . . .216 

The Doctor 218 

The Bag of Money 219 

The Cubby 220 

Supper with the Hare-Lip . . .221 
Honest Injun ...... 224 

The Duke looks under the Bed. . . 226 
Huck takes the Money . . . .229 

A Crack in the Dining-room Door . . 230 

The Undertaker 232 

"He had a Rat!" 233 

" Was you in my Room ?" . . . 235 

Jawing 237 

In Trouble 239 

Indignation ...... 241 

How to Find Them 242 

He Wrote 244 

Hannah with the Mumps .... 246 
The Auction . . . . . .248 

The True Brothers 250 

The Doctor leads Huck . . . .252 

The Duke Wrote 255 

Gentlemen, Gentlemen!" . . . 257 

Jim Lit Out" 260 

The King shakes Huck . . . .261 
The Duke went for Him . . 263 





Spanish Moss ..... 

. 266 

In a Tearing Way . 

. 321 

"Who Nailed Him?" 

. 269 

One of his Ancestors 

. 322 

Thinking ..... 

. 271 

Jim's Coat of Arms . 

. 324 

He gave him Ten Cents 

. 274 

A Tough Job . 

. 327 

Striking for the Back Country . 

. 275 

Buttons on their Tails 

. 329 

Still and Sunday-like 

. 277 


. 331 

She hugged him tight . . . 

. 279 

Keeping off Dull Times . 

. 333 

' Who do you reckon it is?" . 

. 283 

Sawdust Diet . 

. 335 

' It was Tom Sawyer "... 

. 284 

Trouble is Brewing . 

. 337 

" Mr. Archibald Nichols, I presume?" 

. 287 

Fishing .... 

. 339 

A pretty long Blessing 

. 290 

Every one had a Gun 

. 341 

Traveling By Rail .... 

. 291 

Tom caught on a Splinter 

. 343 


. 293 

Jim advises a Doctor 

. 345 

A Simple Job ..... 

. 296 

The Doctor . 

. 347 


. 299 

Uncle Silas in Danger 

. 348 

Getting Wood 

. 300 

Old Mrs. Hotchkiss . 

. 350 

One of the Best Authorities 

. 302 

Aunt Sally talks to Huck 

. 353 

The Breakfast-Horn .... 

. 305 

Tom Sawyer wounded 

. 355 

Smouching the Knives 

. 307 

The Doctor speaks for Jim 


Going down the Lightning-Rod 

. 309 

Tom rose square up in Bed 

. 361 

Stealing spoons ..... 

. 311 

" Hand out them Letters " 

. 362 

Tom advises a Witch Pie 

. 314 

Out of Bondage 

. 364 

The Rubbage-Pile .... 

. 316 

Tom's Liberality 

. 365 

" Missus, dey's a Sheet Gone " . 

. 318 

Yours Truly . 

. 366 

don't know about me, without you 
have read a book by the name of " The 
Adventures of Tom Sawyer," but that 
ain't no matter. That book was made 
by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the 
truth, mainly. There was things 
which he stretched, but mainly he 
told the truth. That is nothing. I 
never seen anybody but lied, one time 
or another, without it was Aunt Polly, 
or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt 
Polly Tom's Aunt Polly, she is and 
Mary, and the Widow Douglas, is all 
told about in that book which is 
mostly a true book ; with some stretch- 
ers, as I said before. 

Now the way that the book winds 
up, is this : Tom and me found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, 
and it made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece all gold. It was an 
awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher, he took it 
and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece, all the year 
round more than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Douglas, she 
took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me ; but it was rough living 
in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow 
was in all her ways ; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out. I got 
into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But 




Tom Sawyer, he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, 
and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went 

The widow she cried over me, and called me a poor lost lamb, and she called 
me a lot of other names, too, but she never meant no harm by it. She put me 
in them new clothes again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat, and 
feel all cramped up. . Well, then, the old thing commenced again. The widow 
rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table 

you couldn't go right to eat- 
ing, but you had to wait for 
the widow to tuck down her 
head and grumble a little 
over the victuals, though 
there warn't really anything 
the matter with them. That 
is, nothing only everything 
was cooked by itself. In a 
barrel of odds and ends it is 
different ; things get mixed 
up, and the juice kind of 
swaps around, and the things 
go better. 

After supper she got out 
her book and learned me 
about Moses and the Bui- 
rushers ; and I was in a sweat 


but by-and-by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time ; 
so then I didn't care no more about him ; because I don't take no stock in dead 

Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she 
wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I must 
try to not do it any more. That is just the way with some people. They 



get down on a thing when they don't know nothing about it. Here she 
was a bothering about Moses, which was no kin to her, and no use to any- 
body, being gone, you see, yet finding a power of fault with me for doing 
a thing that had some good in it. And she took snuff too; of course 
that was all right, because she done it herself. 

Her sister, Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on, had 
just come to live with her, and took 
a set at me now, with a spelling-book. 
She worked me middling hard for about 
an hour, and then the widow made her 
ease up. I couldn't stood it much longer. 
Then for an hour it was deadly dull, 
and I was fidgety. Miss Watson would 
say, "Dont put your feet up there, 
Huckleberry;" and "dont scrunch up 
like that, Huckleberry set up straight; " 
and pretty soon she would say, "Don't 
gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry 
why don't you try to behave?" Then 
she told me all about the bad place, 
and I said I wished I was there. She 
got mad, then, but I didn't mean no 
harm. All I wanted was to go some- 
wheres ; all I wanted was a change, I 
warn't particular. She said it was 
wicked to say what I said; said she 

wouldn't say it for the whole world ; she was going to live so as to go to 
the good place. Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she 
was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it. But I never said 
so, because it would only make trouble, and wouldn't do no good. 

Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the 
good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around 
all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think 


much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom 
Sawyer would go there, and, she said, not by a considerable sight. I was 
glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together. 

Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome and lonesome. 
By-and-by they fetched the niggers in and had prayers, and then everybody 
was off to bed. I went up to my room with a piece of candle and put 
it on the table. Then I set down in a chair by the window and tried to 
think of something cheerful, but it warn't no use. I felt so lonesome I 
most wished I was dead. The stars was shining, and the leaves rustled in 
the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing 
about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about 
somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper some- 
thing to me and I couldn't make out what it was, and so it made the cold 
shivers run over me. Then away out in the woods I heard that kind of a 
sound that a ghost makes when it wants to tell about something that's on its 
mind and can't make itself understood, and so can't rest easy in its grave 
and has to go about that way every night grieving. I got so down-hearted 
and scared, I did wish I had some company. Pretty soon a spider went 
crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle ; and 
before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn't need anybody to tell 
me that that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so 
I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned 
around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and 
then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches 
away. But I hadn't no confidence. You do that when you've lost a 
horse-shoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I 
hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when 
you'd killed a spider. 

I set down again, a shaking all over, and got out. my pipe for a smoke ; 
for the house was all as still as death, now, and so the widow wouldn't 
know. Well, after a long time I heard the clock away off in the town 
go boom boom boom twelve licks and all still again stiller than 
ever. Pretty soon I heard a twig snap, down in the dark amongst the 



trees something was a stirring. I set still and listened. Directly I could 
just barely hear a "me-yow! me-yow ! " down there. That was good ! Says I, 
"me-yow! me-yow!" as soft as I could, and then I put out the light and 
scrambled out of the window onto the shed. Then I slipped down to 
the ground and crawled in amongst the trees, and sure enough there was 
Tom Sawyer waiting for me. 


WE went tip-toeing along a path amongst 
the trees back towards the end of the 
widow's garden, stooping down so as 
the branches wouldn't scrape our heads. 
When we was passing by the kitchen 
I fell over a root and made a noise. 
We scrouched down and laid still. 
Miss Watson's big nigger, named 
Jim, was setting in the kitchen door ; 
we could see him pretty clear, because 
there was a light behind him. He 
got up and stretched his neck out 
about a minute, listening. Then he 


He listened some more; then he 
come tip-toeing down and stood 
right between us ; we could a touched 
him, nearly. Well, likely it was min- 
utes and minutes that there warn't a 
sound, and we all there so close 
together. There was a place on my 
ankle that got to itching ; but I 
dasn't scratch it; and then my ear begun to itch; and next my back, right be- 
tween my shoulders. Seemed like I'd die if I couldn't scratch. Well, I've 
noticed that thing plenty of times since. If you are with the quality, or at a 
funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain't sleepy if you are anywheres 



where it won't do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a 
thousand places. Pretty soon Jim says: 

" Say who is you? Whar is you? Dog my cats ef I didn' hear sumfn. Well, 
I knows what I's gwyne to do. I's gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears 
it agin." 

So he set down on the ground betwixt me and Tom. He leaned his back up 
against a tree, and stretched his legs out till one of them most touched one of 
mine. My nose begun to itch. It itched till the tears come into my eyes. But 
I dasn't scratch. Then it begun to itch on the inside. Next I got to itching 
underneath. I didn't know how I was going to set still. This miserableness 
went on as much as six or seven minutes; but it seemed a sight longer than that. 
I was itching in eleven different places now. I reckoned I couldn't stand it 
more'n a minute longer, but I set my teeth hard and got ready to try. Just then 
Jim begun to breathe heavy; next he begun to snore and then I was pretty soon 
comfortable again. 

Tom he made a sign to me kind of a little noise with his mouth and we went 
creeping away on our hands and knees. When we was ten foot off, Tom whis- 
pered to me and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun; but I said no ; he might 
wake and make a disturbance, and then they'd find out I warn't in. Then Tom 
said he hadn't got candles enough, and he would slip in the kitchen and get 
some more. I didn't want him to try. I said Jim might wake up and come. 
But Tom wanted to resk it; so we slid in there and got three candles, and Tom 
laid five cents on the table for pay. Then we got out, and I was in a sweat to 
get away; but nothing would do Tom but he must crawl to where Jim was, on 
his hands and knees, and play something on him. I waited, and it seemed a good 
while, everything was so still and lonesome. 

As soon as Tom was back, we cut along the path, around the garden fence, 
and by-and-by fetched up on the steep top of the hill the other side of the house. 
Tom said he slipped Jim's hat off of his head and hung it on a limb right over 
him, and Jim stirred a little, but he didn't wake. Afterwards Jim said the 
witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, 
and then set him under the trees again and hung his hat on a limb to show who 
done it. And next time Jim told it he said they rode him down to New Orleans: 



and after that, every time he told it he spread it more and more, till by-and-by 
he said they rode him all over the world, and tired him most to death, and his 
back was all over saddle-boils. Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he 
wouldn't hardly notice the other niggers. Niggers would come miles to hear Jim 
tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country. 

Strange niggers would stand with their mouths 
open and look him all over, same as if he was 
a wonder. Niggers is always talking about 
witches in the dark by the kitchen fire; but 
whenever one was talking and letting on to 
know all about such things, Jim would happen 
in and say, "Hm ! What you know 'bout 
witches ? " and that nigger was corked up and 
had to take a back seat. Jim always kept that 
five-center piece around his neck with a string 
and said it was a charm the devil give to him 
with his own hands and told him he could cure 
anybody with it and fetch witches whenever he 
wanted to, just by saying something to it; but 
he never told what it was he said to it. Niggers 
would come from all around there and give Jim 
anything they had, just for a sight of that five- 
center piece ; but they wouldn't touch it, be- 
cause the devil had had his hands on it. Jim 
was most ruined, for a servant, because he got 
so stuck up on account of having seen the devil and been rode by witches. 

Well, when Tom and me got to the edge of the hill-top, we looked away 
down into the village and could see three or four lights twinkling, where there 
was sick folks, may be ; and the stars over us was sparkling ever so fine ; and 
down by the village was the river, a whole mile broad, and awful still and grand. 
We went down the hill and found Jo Harper, and Ben Eogers, and two or three 
more of the boys, hid in the old tanyard. So we unhitched a skiff and pulled down 
the river two mile and a half, to the big scar on the hillside, and went ashore. 


We went to a clump of bushes, and Tom made everybody swear to keep the 
secret, and then showed them a hole in the hill, right in the thickest part of 
the bushes. Then we lit the candles and crawled in on our hands and knees. 
We went about two hundred yards, and then the cave opened up. Tom poked 
about amongst the passages and pretty soon ducked under a wall where you 
wouldn't a noticed that there was a hole. We went along a narrow place and 
got into a kind of room, all damp and sweaty and cold, and there we stopped. 
Tom says : 

" Now we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer's Gang. 


Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in 

Everybody was willing. So Tom got out a sheet of paper that he had wrote 
the oath on, and read it. It swore every boy to stick to the band, and never 
tell any of the secrets ; and if anybody done anything to any boy in the band, 
whichever boy was ordered to kill that person and his family must do it, and he 
mustn't eat and he mustn't sleep till he had killed them and hacked a cross in 


their breasts, which was the sign of the band. And nobody that didn't belong 
to the band could use that mark, and if he did he must be sued ; and if he done 
it again he must be killed. And if anybody that belonged to the band told the 
secrets, he must have his throat cut, and then have his carcass burnt up and 
the ashes scattered all around, and his name blotted off of the list with blood, 
and never mentioned again by the gang, but have a curse put on it and be forgot, 

Everybody said it was a real beautiful oath, and asked Tom if he got it out 
of his own head. He said, some of it, but the rest was out of pirate books, and 
robber books, and every gang that was high-toned had it. 

Some thought it would be good to kill the families of boys that told the 
secrets. Tom said it was a good idea, so he took a pencil and wrote it in. Then 
Ben Eogers says : 

" Here's Huck Finn, he hain't got no family what you going to do 'bout 
him ? " 

"Well, hain't he got a father ?" says Tom Sawyer. 

" Yes, he's got a father, but you can't never find him, these days. He used 
to lay drunk with the hogs in the tanyard, but he hain't been seen in these 
parts for a year or more." 

They talked it over, and they was going to rule me out, because they said 
every boy must have a family or somebody to kill, or else it wouldn't be fair 
and square for the others. Well, nobody could think of anything to do every- 
body was stumped, and set still. I was most ready to cry ; but all at once I 
thought of a way, and so I offered them Miss Watson they could kill her. 
Everybody said : 

" Oh, she'll do, she'll do. That's all right. Huck can come in." 

Then they all stuck a pin in their fingers to get blood to sign with, and I 
made my mark on the paper. 

" Now," says Ben Rogers, "what's the line of business of this Gang ?" 

"Nothing only robbery and murder," Tom said. 

" But who are we going to rob ? houses or cattle or " 

"Stuff! stealing cattle and such things ain't robbery, it's burglary," says 
Tom Sawyer. " We ain't burglars. That ain't no sort of style. We are high- 


waymen. We stop stages and carriages on the road, with masks on, and kill 
the people and take their watches and money." 

" Must we always kill the people ?" 

" Oh, certainly. It's best. Some authorities think different, but mostly it's 
considered best to kill them. Except some that you bring to the cave here and 
keep them till they're ransomed." 

' ' Ransomed ? What's that ? " 

" I don't know. But that's what they do. I've seen it in books ; and so of 
course that's what we've got to do." 

" But how can we do it if we don't know what it is ? " 

" Why blame it all, we've got to do it. Don't I tell you it's in the books ? 
Do you want to go to doing different from what's in the books, and get things 
all muddled up ? " 

" Oh, that's all very fine to say, Tom Sawyer, but how in the nation are these 
fellows going to be ransomed if we don't know how to do it to them ? that's 
the thing / want to get at. Now what do you reckon it is ? " 

"Well 1 don't know. But per'aps if we keep them till they're ransomed, 
it means that we keep them till they're dead." 

" Now, that's something like. That'll answer. Why couldn't you said that 
before ? We'll keep them till they're ransomed to death and a bothersome lot 
they'll be, too, eating up everything and always trying to get loose." 

" How you talk, Ben Eogers. How can they get loose when there's a guard 
over them, ready to shoot them down if they move a peg ? " 

"A guard. Well, that is good. So somebody's got to set up all night and 
never get any sleep, just so as to watch them. I think that's foolishness. Why 
can't a body take a club and ransom them as soon as they get here ? " 

" Because it ain't in the books so that's why. Now Ben Eogers, do you 
want to do things regular, or don't you ? that's the idea. Don't you reckon 
that the people that made the books knows what's the correct thing to do ? 
Do you reckon you can learn 'em anything ? Not by a good deal. No, sir, 
we'll just go on and ransom them in the regular way." 

" All right. I don't mind ; but I say it's a fool way, anyhow. Say do we 
kill the women, too ? " 



" Well, Ben Rogers, if I was as ignorant as you I wouldn't let on. Kill the 
women? No nobody ever saw anything in the books like that. You fetch 
them to the cave, and you're always as polite as pie to them ; and by-and-by they 
fall in love with you and never want to go home any more." 

" Well, if that's the way, I'm agreed, but I don't take no stock in it. Mighty 
soon we'll have the cave so cluttered up with women, and fellows waiting to be 
ransomed, that there won't be no place for the robbers. But go ahead, I ain't 
got nothing to say." 

Little Tommy Barnes was asleep, now, and when they waked him up he was 
scared, and cried, and said he wanted to go home to his ma, and didn't want 
to be a robber any more. 

So they all made fun of him, and called him cry-baby, and that made him 
mud, and he said he would go straight and tell all the secrets. But Tom give 
him five cents to keep quiet, and said we would all go home and meet next 
week and rob somebody and kill some people. 

Ben Rogers said he couldn't get out much, only Sundays, and so he wanted 
to begin next Sunday ; but all the boys said it would be wicked to do it on 
Sunday, and that settled the thing. They agreed to get together and fix a day as 
soon as they could, and then we elected Tom Sawyer first captain and Jo 
Harper second captain of the Gang, and so started home. 

I clumb up the shed and crept into my window just before day was breaking. 
My new clothes was all greased up and clayey, and I was dog-tired. 





VvELL, I got a good going-over in the morning, 
from old Miss Watson, on account of my 
clothes ; but the widow she didn't scold, but 
only cleaned off the grease and clay and 
looked so sorry that I thought I would be- 
have a while if I could. Then Miss Watson 
she took me in the closet and prayed, but 
nothing come of it. She told me to pray 
every day, and whatever I asked for I would 
get it. But it warn't so. I tried it. Once 
I got a fish-line, but no hooks. It warn't 
any good to me without hooks. I tried for 
the hooks three or four times, but somehow 
I couldn't make it work. By-and-by, one 
day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but 
she said I was a fool. She never told me 
why, and I couldn't make it out no way. 

I set down, one time, back in the woods, and had a long think about it. I 
says to myself, if a body can get anything they pray for, why don't Deacon 
Winn get back the money he lost on pork ? Why can't the widow get back 
her silver snuff-box that was stole ? Why can't Miss Watson fat up ? No, says 
I to myself, there ain't nothing in it. I went and told the widow about it, 
and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was "spiritual gifts." 
This was too many for me, but she told me what she meant I must help 
other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them 
all the time, and never think about myself. This was including Miss Watson, 



as I took it. I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long 
time, but I couldn't see no advantage about it except for the other people 
so at last I reckoned I wouldn't worry about it any more, but just let it go. 
Sometimes the widow would take me one side and talk about Providence in a way 
to make a body's mouth water ; but maybe next day Miss Watson would take 
hold and knock it all down again. I judged I could see that there was two 
Providences, and a poor chap would stand considerable show with the widow's 
Providence, but if Miss Watson's got him there warn't no help for him any more. 
I thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow's, if he wanted 
me, though I couldn't make out how he was agoing to be any better off then 
than what he was before, seeing I was so ignorant and so kind of low-down 
and ornery. 

Pap he hadn't been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for 
me ; I didn't want to see him no more. He used to always whale me when he 
was sober and could get his hands on me ; though I used to take to the woods 
most of the time when he was around. Well, about this time he was found in 
the river drowned, about twelve mile above town, so people said. They judged 
it was him, anyway ; said this drowned man was just his size, and was ragged, 
and had uncommon long hair which was all like pap but they couldn't make 
nothing out of the face, because it had been in the water so long it warn't much 
like a face at all. They said he was floating on his back in the water. They 
took him and buried him on the bank. But I warn't comfortable long, because 
I happened to think of something. I knowed mighty well that a drownded man 
don't float on his back, but on his face. So I knowed, then, that this warn't 
pap, but a woman dressed up in a man's clothes. So I was uncomfortable again. 
I judged the old man would turn up again by-and-by, though I wished he 

We played robber now and then about a month, and then I resigned. 
All the boys did. We hadn't .robbed nobody, we hadn't killed any people, 
but only just pretended. We used to hop out of the woods and go charg- 
ing down on hog-drovers and women in carts taking garden stuff to market, 
but we never hived any of them. Tom Sawyer called the hogs " ingots, " 
and he called the turnips and stuff "julery" and we would go to the cave 



and pow-wow over what we had done and how many people we had killed 

and marked. But I couldn't see no profit in it. One time Tom sent a boy 

to run about town with a blazing stick, which he called a slogan (which 

was the sign for the Gang to get together), and then he said he had got 

secret news by his spies that next day a whole parcel of Spanish 

merchants and rich A-rabs was going to camp in Cave Hollow with two 

hundred elephants, and six hundred camels,, and over a thousand "sumter" 

mules, all loaded down with di'monds, and they didn't have only a guard of 

four hundred soldiers, and so we would lay in ambuscade, as he called it, 

and kill the lot and scoop the things. He said we must slick up our 

swords and guns, and get 

ready. He never could go 

after even a turnip-cart but 

he must have the swords and 

guns all scoured up for it ; 

though they was only lath and 

broom-sticks, and you might 

scour at them till you rotted 

and then they warn't worth a 

mouthful of ashes more than 

what they was before. I didn't 

believe we could lick such a 

crowd of Spaniards and A-rabs, 

but I wanted to see the camels 

and elephants, so I was on hand 

next day, Saturday, in the 

ambuscade ; and when we got 

the word, we rushed out of 

the woods and down the hill. 

But there warn't no Spaniards 

and A-rabs, and there waru't no 

camels nor no elephants. It 

warn't anything but a Sunday-school picnic, and only a primer-class at 



that. We busted it up, and chased the children up the hollow ; but we 
never got anything but some doughnuts and jam, though Ben Rogers got 
a rag doll, and Jo Harper got a hymn-book and a tract ; and then the 
teacher charged in and made us drop everything and cut. I didn't see no 
di'monds, and I told Tom Sawyer so. He said there was loads of them 
there, anyway; and he said there was A-rabs there, too, and elephants 
and things. I said, why couldn't we see them, then ? He said if I warn't 
so ignorant, but had read a book called " Don Quixote, " I would know 
without asking. He said it was all done by enchantment. He said there 
was hundreds of soldiers there, and elephants and treasure, and so on, but 
we had enemies which he called magicians, and they had turned the whole 
thing into an infant Sunday school, just out of spite. I said, all right, 
then the thing for us to do was to go for the magicians. Tom Sawyer said 
I was a numskull. 

"Why," says he, "a magician could call up a lot of genies, and they 
would hash you up like nothing before you could say Jack Robinson. They 
are as tall as a tree and as big around as a church." 

"Well," I says, "s'pose we got some genies to help us can't we lick 
the other crowd then ? " 

"How you going to get them?" 

" I don't know. How do they get them ? " 

"Why they rub an old tin lamp or an iron ring, and then the genies come 
tearing in, with the thunder and lightning a-ripping around and the smoke 
a-rolling, and everything they're told to do they up and do it. They don't 
think nothing of pulling a shot tower up by the roots, and belting a Sunday- 
school superintendent over the head with it or any other man." 

" Who makes them tear around so ? " 

"Why, whoever rubs the lamp or the ring. They belong to whoever 
rubs the lamp or the ring, and they've got to do whatever he says. If he 
tells them to build a palace forty miles long, out of di'monds, and fill it 
full of chewing gum, or whatever you want, and fetch an emperor's 
daughter from China for you to marry, they've got to do it and they've 
got to do it before sun-up next morning, too. And more they've got to 



waltz that palace around over the country wherever you want it, you 
understand. " 

"Well," says I, "I think they are a pack of flatheads for .not keeping 
the palace themselves 'stead of fooling them away like that. And what's 
more if I was one of them I would see a man in Jericho before I would 
drop rny business and come 
to him for the rubbing of an 
old tin lamp." 

"How you talk, Huck 
Finn. Why, you'd have to 
come when he rubbed it, 
whether you wanted to or 

"What, and I as high as 
a tree and as big as a 
church ? All right, then ; I 
would come; but I lay I'd 
make that man climb the 
highest tree there was in the 

"Shucks, it ain't no use 
to talk to you, Huck Finn. 
You don't seem to know 
anything, somehow perfect 

I thought all this over for two or three days, and then I reckoned I 
would see if there was anything in it. I got an old tin lamp and an iron 
ring and went out in the woods and rubbed and rubbed till I sweat like 
an Injun, calculating to build a palace and sell it ; but it warn't no use, 
none of the genies come. So then I judged that all that stuff was only 
just one of Tom Sawyer's lies. I reckoned he believed in the A-rabs and the 
elephants, but as for me I think different. It had all the marks of a 
Sunday school. 



V\/ ELL, three or four months run along, and 
it was well into the winter, now. I 
had been to school most all the time, 
and could spell, and read, and write 
just a little, and could say the mul- 
tiplication table up to six times seven 
is thirty-five, and I don't reckon I 
could ever get any further than that 
if I was to live forever. I don't take 
no stock in mathematics, anyway. 

At first I hated the school, but by 
and-by I got so I could stand it. 
Whenever I got uncommon tired 1 
played hookey, and the hiding I got 
next day done me good and cheered 
me up. So the longer I went to 
school the easier it got to be. I was 
getting sort of used to the widow's 
ways, too, and they warn't so raspy 
on me. Living in a house, and sleep- 
ing in a bed, pulled on me pretty tight, mostly, but before the cold weather I 
used to slide out and sleep in the woods, sometimes, and so that was a rest to me. 
I liked the old ways best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones, too, a little bit. 
The widow said I was coming along slow but sure, and doing very satisfactory. She 
said she warn't ashamed of me. 


One morning I happened to turn over the salt-cellar at breakfast. I reached 
for some of it as quick as I could, to throw over my left shoulder and keep off 
the bad luck, but Miss Watson was in ahead of me, and crossed me off. She says, 
" Take your hands away, Huckleberry what a mess you are always making." The 
widow put in a good word for me, but that warn't going to keep off the bad luck, 
I knowed that well enough. I started out, after breakfast, feeling worried and 
shaky, and wondering where it was going to fall on me, and what it was going 
to be. There is ways to keep off some kinds of bad luck, but this wasn't one of 
them kind; so I never tried to do anything, but just poked along low-spirited and 
on the watch-out. 

I went down the front garden and clumb over the stile, where you go through 
the high board fence. There was an inch of new snow on the ground, and I seen 
somebody's tracks. They had come up from the quarry and stood around the 
stile a while, and then went on around the garden fence. It was funny they hadn't 
come in, after standing around so. I couldn't make it out. It was very curious, 
somehow. I was going to follow around, but I stooped down to look at the tracks 
first. I didn't notice anything at first, but next I did. There was a cross in the 
left boot-heel made with big nails, to keep off the devil. 

I was up in a second and shinning down the hill. I looked over my shoulder 
every now and then, but I didn't see nobody. I was at Judge Thatcher's as quick 
as I could get there. He said: 

" Why, my boy, you are all out of breath. Did you come for your interest ?" 

" No sir," I says ; "is there some for me?" 

" Oh, yes, a half-yearly is in, last night. Over a hundred and fifty dollars. 
Quite a fortune for you. You better let me invest it along with your six thou- 
sand, because if you take it you'll spend it." 

"No sir," I says, "I don't want to spend it. I don't want it at all nor the 
six thousand, nuther. I want you to take it; I want to give it to you the six 
thousand and all." 

He looked surprised. He couldn't seem to make it out. He says: 

" Why, what can you mean, my boy ? " 

I says, "Don't you ask me no questions about it, please. You'll take 
it won't you?" 



He says: 

" Well I'm puzzled. Is something the matter ? " 

take it," says I, " and don't ask me nothing then I won't have 

to tell no lies." 

He studied a while, and 
then he says : 

" Oho-o. I think I see. 
You want to sell all your 
property to me not give it. 
That's the correct idea. " 

Then he wrote something 
on a paper and read it over, 
and says: 

" There you see it says 
'for a consideration.' That 
means I have bought it of 
you and paid you for it. 
Here's a dollar for you. 
Now, you sign it." 

So I signed it, and 


Miss Watson's nigger, 

Jim, had a hair-ball as big as your fist, which had been took out of the 
fourth stomach of an ox, and he used to do magic with it. He said there 
was a spirit inside of it, and it knowed everything. So I went to him that night 
and told him pap was here again, for I found his tracks in the snow. What 
I wanted to know, was, what he was going to do, and was he going to stay? Jim got 
out his hair-ball, and said something over it, and then he held it up and dropped it 
on the floor. It fell pretty solid, and only rolled about an inch. Jim tried it 
again, and then another time, and it acted just the same. Jim got down on his 
knees and put his ear against it and listened. But it warn't no use; he said it 
wouldn't talk. He said sometimes it wouldn't talk without money. I told him I 


nad an old slick counterfeit quarter that warn't no good because the brass showed 
through the silver a little, and it wouldn't pass nohow, even if the brass didn't 
show, because it was so slick it felt greasy, and so that would tell on it every time. 
(I reckoned I wouldn't say nothing about the dollar I got from the judge.) I 
I said it was pretty bad money, but maybe the hair-ball would take it, because 
maybe it wouldn't know the difference. Jim smelt it, and bit it, and rubbed it, 
and said he would manage so the hair-ball would think it was good. He said he 
would split open a raw Irish potato and stick the quarter in between and keep it 
there all night, and next morning you couldn't see no brass, and it wouldn't feel 
greasy no more, and so anybody in town would take it in a minute, let alone a 
hair-ball. Well, I knowed a potato would do that, before, but I had forgot it. 

Jim put the quarter under the hair-ball and got down and listened again. 
This time he said the I j 

hair-ball was all right. 
He said it would tell 
my whole fortune if I 
wanted it to. I says, 
go on. So the hair-ball 
talked to Jim, and Jim 
told it to me. He says : 

" Yo' ole father doan' 
know, yit, what he's 
a-gwyne to do. Some- 
times he spec he'll go 
'way, en den agin he 
spec he'll stay. De bes' 
way is to res' easy en let de ole man take his own way. Dey's two angels hoverin' 
roun' 'bout him. One uv 'em is white en shiny, en 'tother one is black. De 
white one gits him to go right, a little while, den de black one sail in en bust it 
all up. A body can't tell, yit, which one gwyne to fetch him at de las'. But 
you is all right. You gwyne to have considable trouble in yo' life, en considable 
joy. Sometimes you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick ; 
but every time you's gwyne to git well agin. Dey's two gals flyin' 'bout you 



in yo' life. One uv 'em's light en 'tother one is dark. One is rich en 
'tother is po'. You's gwyne to marry de po' one fust en de rich one by- 
en-by. You wants to keep 'way fum de water as much as you kin, en 
don't run no resk, 'kase it's down in de bills dat you's gwyne to git hung." 
When I lit my candle and went up to my room that night, there set 
pap, his own self I 



HAD shut the door to. Then I turned 
around, and there he was. I used to 
be scared of him all the time, he tanned 
me so much. I reckoned I was scared 
now, too ; but in a minute I see I was 
mistaken. That is, after the first jolt, 
as you may say, when my breath sort of 
hitched he being so unexpected ; but 
right away after, I see I warn't scared 
of him worth bothering about. 

He was most fifty, and he looked it. 
His hair was long and tangled and greasy, 
and hung down, and you could see his 
eyes shining through like he was behind 
vines. It was all black, no gray; so 
was his long, mixed-up whiskers. There 
warn't no color in his face, where his 
face showed ; it was white ; not like 
" PAP< " another man's white, but a white to 

make a body sick, a white to make a body's flesh crawl a tree-toad white, 
a fish-belly white. As for his clothes just rags, that was all. He had 
one ankle resting on 'tother knee ; the boot on that foot was busted, and 
two of his toes stuck through, and he worked them now and then. His 
hat was laying on the floor ; an old black slouch with the top caved in, 
like a lid. 

I stood a-looking at him ; he set there a-looking at me, with his chair 
tilted back a little. I set the candle down. I noticed the window was 


up ; so he had dumb in by the shed. He kept a-looking me all over. 
By-and-by he says : 

"Starchy clothes very. You think you're a good deal of a big-bug, 
dorft you?" 

"Maybe I am, maybe I ain't," I says. 

"Don't you give me none o' your lip," says he. "You've put on con- 
siderble many frills since I been away. I'll take you down a peg before 
I get done with you. You're educated, too, they say; can read and write. 
You think you're betfcer'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't ? 
I'll take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with such 
hifalut-'n foolishness, hey ? who told you you could ? " 

"The widow. She told me." 

" The widow, hey ? and who told the widow she could put in her 
shovel about a thing that ain't none of her business ? " 

"Nobody never told her." 

" Well, I'll learn her how to meddle. And looky here you drop that 
school, you hear ? I'll learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs over 
his own father and let on to be better'n what he is. You lemme catch 
you fooling around that school again, you hear ? Your mother couldn't 
read, and she couldn't write, nuther, before she died. None of the family 
couldn't, before they died. / can't ; and here you're a- swelling yourself 
up like this. I ain't the man to stand it you hear ? Say lemme hear 
you read." 

I took up a book and begun something about General Washington and the 
wars. When I'd read about a half a minute, he fetched the book a whack with 
his hand and knocked it across the house. He says : 

" It's so. You can do it. I had my doubts when you told me. Now looky 
here ; you stop that putting on frills. I won't have it. I'll lay for you, my 
smarty ; and if I catch you about that school I'll tan you good. First you know 
you'll get religion, too. I never see such a son." 

He took up a little blue and yaller picture of some cows and a boy, and 
says : 

"What's this?" 



" It's something they give me for learning my lessons good " 

He tore it up, and says 

"I'll give you something better I'll give you a cowhide.' 

He set there a-mumbling and a-growling a minute, and then he says 

" Ain't you a sweet-scented dandy, though ? A bed ; and bedclothes ; and 

a look'n-glass ; and a piece 

of carpet on the floor and 

your own father got to sleep 

with the hogs in the tanyard. 

I never see such a son. I 

bet I'll take some o' these 

frills out o' you before I'm ;' 

done with you. Why there \ 

ain't no end to your airs 

they say you're rich. Hey ? } 

i i 


how's that ? " 

" They lie that's how." 

" Looky here mind how 
you talk to me ; I'm a-stand- 
ing about all I can stand, 
now so don't gimme no sass. 
I've been in town two days, 

and I hain't heard nothing but about you bein' rich. I heard about it away 
down the river, too. That's why I come. You git me that money to-morrow 
I want it." 

" I hain't got no money." 

" It's a lie. Judge Thatcher's got it. You git it. I want it," 

" I hain't got no money, I tell you. You ask Judge Thatcher ; he'll tell you 
the same." 

" All right. I'll ask him ; and I'll make him pungle, too, or I'll know the 
reason why. Say how much you got in your pocket ? I want it." 

"I hain't got only a dollar, and I want that to " 

" It don't make no difference what you want it for you just shell it out." 


He took it and bit it to see if it was good, and then he said he was going 
down town to get some whisky ; said he hadn't had a drink all day. When he 
had got out on the shed, he put his head in again, and cussed me for putting 
on frills and trying to be better than him ; and when I reckoned he was gone, he 
come back and put his head in again, and told me to mind about that school, 
because he was going to lay for me and lick me if I didn't drop that. 

Next day he was drunk, and he went to Judge Thatcher's and bullyragged 
him and tried to make him give up the money, but he couldn't, and then he 
swore he'd make the law force him. 

The judge and the widow went to law to get the court to take me away from 
him and let one of them be my guardian ; but it was a new judge that had just 
come, and he didn't know the old man ; so he said courts mustn't interfere and 
separate families if they could help it ; said he'd druther not take a child away 
from its father. So Judge Thatcher and the widow had to quit on the 

That pleased the old man till he couldn't rest. He said he'd cowhide me till 
I was black and blue if I didn't raise some money for him. I borrowed three 
dollars from Judge Thatcher, and pap took it and got drunk and went a-blowing 
around and cussing and whooping and carrying on ; and he kept it up all 
over town, with a tin pan, till most midnight ; then they jailed him, and 
next day they had him before court, and jailed him again for a week. But he 
said he was satisfied ; said he was boss of his son, and he'd make it warm for 

When he got out the new judge said he was agoing to make a man of him. 
So he took him to his own house, and dressed him up clean and nice, and had 
him to breakfast and dinner and supper with the family, and was just old pie to 
him, so to speak. And after supper he talked to him about temperance and such 
things till the old man cried, and said he'd been a fool, and fooled away his life ; 
but now he was agoing to turn over a new leaf and be a man nobody wouldn't be 
ashamed of, and he hoped the judge would help him and not look down on him. 
The judge said he could hug him for them words ; so he cried, and his wife she 
cried again ; pap said he'd been a man that had always been misunderstood before, 
and the judge said he believed it. The old man said that what a man wanted 


that was down, was sympathy ; and the judge said it was so ; so they cried 
again. Aud when it was bedtime, the old man rose up and held out his 
hand, and says : 

" Look at it gentlemen, and ladies all ; take ahold of it ; shake it. There's 
a hand that was the hand of a hog ; but it ain't so no more ; it's the hand 
of a man that's started in on a new life, and '11 die before he'll go back. You 
mark them words don't forget I said them. It's a clean hand now ; shake 
it don't be afeard." 


So they shook it, one after the other, all around, and cried. The judge's 
wife she kissed it. Then the old man he signed a pledge made his mark. The 
judge said it was the holiest time on record, or something like that. Then 
they tucked the old man into a beautiful room, which was the spare room, and 
in the night sometime he got powerful thirsty and dumb out onto the porch-roof 
and slid down a stanchion and traded his new coat for a jug of forty-rod, and 
dumb back again and had a good old time ; and towards daylight he crawled out 
again, drunk as a fiddler, and rolled off the porch and broke his left arm in 
two places and was most froze to death when somebody found him after sun-up. 


And when they come to look at that spare room, they had to take soundings 
before they could navigate it. 

The judge he felt kind of sore. He said he reckoned a body could reform 
the ole man with a shot-gun, maybe, but he didn't know no other way. 

E.LL, pretty soon the old man was up and 
around again, and then he went for 
Judge Thatcher in the courts to make 
him give up that money, and he went 
for me, too, for not stopping school. 
He catched me a couple of times and 
thrashed me, but I went to school just 
the same, and dodged him or out-run 
him most of the time. I didn't want 
to go to school much, before, but I 
reckoned I'd go now to spite pap. 
That law trial was a slow business ; 
appeared like they warn't ever going 
to get started on it ; so every now and 
then I'd borrow two or three dollars 
off of the judge for him, to keep from 
getting a cowhiding. Every time he got money he got drunk ; and every time 
he got drunk he raised Cain around town ; and every time he raised Cain he got 
jailed. He was just suited this kind of thing was right in his line. 

He got to hanging around the widow's too much, and so she told him at last, 
that if he didn't quit using around there she would make trouble for him. Well, 
wasn't he mad ? He said he would show who was Huck Finn's boss. So he 
watched out for me one day in the spring, and catched me, and took me up the 
river about three mile, in a skiff, and crossed over to the Illinois shore where it 
was woody and there warn't no houses but an old log hut in a place where the 
timber was so thick you couldn't find it if you didn't know where it was. 




He kept me with him aU the time, and I never got a chance to run off. We 
lived in that old cabin, and he always locked the door and put the key under his 
head, nights. He had a gun which he had stole, I reckon, and we fished and 
hunted, "and that was what we lived on. Every little while he locked me in and 
went down to the store, three miles, to the ferry, and traded fish and game for 
whisky and fetched it home and got drunk and had a good time, and licked me. 
The widow she found out where I was, by-and-by, and she sent a man over to try 


to get hold of me, but pap drove him off with the gun, and it warn't long after 
that till I was used to being where I was, and liked it, all but the cowhide part. 
It was kind of lazy and jolly, laying off comfortable all day, smoking and 
fishing, and no books nor study. Two months or more run along, and my 
clothes got to be all rags and dirt, and I didn't see how I'd ever got to like it so well 
at the widow's, where you had to wash, and eat on a plate, and comb up, and go to 
bed and get up regular, and be forever bothering over a book and have old Miss 
Watson pecking at you all the' time. I didn't want to go back no more. I had 
stopped cussing, because the widow didn't like it ; but now I took to it again be- 


cause pap hadn't no objections. It was pretty good times up in the woods there, 
take it all around. 

But by-and-by pap got too handy with his hick'ry, and I couldn't stand it. I was 
all over welts. He got to going away so much, too, and locking me in. Once he 
locked me in and was gone three days. It was dreadful lonesome. I judged he 
had got drowned and I wasn't ever going to get out any more. I was scared. I 
made up my mind I would fix up some way to leave there. I had tried to 
get out of that cabin many a time, but I couldn't find no way. There warn't a 
window to it big enought for a dog to get through. I couldn't get up the chimbly, 
it was too narrow. The door was thick solid oak slabs. Pap was pretty careful 
not to leave a knife or anything in the cabin when he was away ; I reckon I had 
hunted the place over as much as a hundred times ; well, I was 'most all the time 
at it, because it was about the only way to put in the time. But this time I found 
something at last ; I found an old rusty wood-saw without any handle ; it was 
laid in between a rafter and the clapboards of the roof. I greased it up and went 
to work. There was an old horse-blanket nailed against the logs at the far end 
of the cabin behind the table, to keep the wind from blowing through the chinks 
and putting the candle out. I got under the table and raised the blanket and 
went to work to saw a section of the big bottom log out, big enough to let me 
through. Well, it was a good long job, but I was getting towards the end of it 
when I heard pap's gun in the woods. I got rid of the signs of my work, and 
dropped the blanket and hid my saw, and pretty soon pap come in. 

Pap warn't in a good humor so he was his natural self. He said he was down 
to town, and everything was going wrong. His lawyer said he reckoned he 
would win his lawsuit and get the money, if they ever got started on the trial; 
but then there was ways to put it off a long time, and Judge Thatcher knowed 
how to do it. And he said people allowed there'd be another trial to get me away 
from him and give me to the widow for my guardian, and they guessed it would 
win, this time. This shook me up considerable, because I didn't want to go back to 
the widow's any more and be so cramped up and sivilized, as they called it. Then 
the old man got to cussing, and cussed everything and everybody he could think of, 
and then cussed them all over again to make sure he hadn't skipped any, and 
after that he polished off with a kind of a general cuss all round, including a con- 



siderable parcel of people which he didn't know the names of, and so called them 
what's-his-name, when he got to them, and went right along with his cussing. 

He said he would like to see the widow get me. He said he would watch 
out, and if they tried to come any such game on him he knowed of a place 
six or seven mile off, to stow me in, where they might hunt till they dropped 
and they couldn't find me. That made me pretty uneasy again, but only for 
a minute ; I reckoned I wouldn't stay on hand till he got that chance. 

The old man made me go to the skiff and fetch the things he had 
got. There was a fifty-pound sack of corn meal, and a side of bacon, 
ammunition, and a four-gallon jug of whisky, and an old book and two 
newspapers for wadding, besides some tow. I toted up a load, and went 
back and set down on the bow of the skiff to rest. I thought it all over, 

and 1 reckoned I would walk 
off with the gun and some 
lines, and take to the woods 
when I run away. I guessed 
I wouldn't stay in one place, 
but just tramp right across the 
country, mostly night times, 
and hunt and fish to keep alive, 
and so get so far away that 
the old man nor the widow 
couldn't ever find me any more. 
I -judged I would saw out and 
leave that night if pap got 
drunk enough, and I reckoned 
he would. I got so full of it 
I didn't notice how long I 
was staying, till the old man 
hollered and asked me whether 
I was asleep or drownded. 
I got the things all up to the cabin, and then it was about dark. 
While I was cooking supper the old man took a swig or two and got sort 



of warmed up, and went to ripping again. He had been drunk over in 
town, and laid in the gutter all night, and he was a sight to look at. 
A body would a thought he was Adam, he was just all mud. Whenever 
his liquor begun to work, he most always went for the govment. This 
time he says : 

" Call this a govment ! why, just look at it and see what it's like. 
Here's the law a-standing ready to take a man's son away from him a 
man's own son, which he has had all the trouble and all the anxiety and 
ail the expense of raising. Yes, just as that man has got that son raised 
at last, and ready to go to work and begin to do suthin' for Um and give 
him a rest, the law up and goes for him. And they call that govment ! 
That ain't all, nuther. The law backs that old Judge Thatcher up and 
helps him to keep me out o' my property. Here's what the law does. 
The law takes a man worth six thousand dollars and upards, and jams him 
into an old trap of a cabin like this, and lets him go round in clothes 
that ain't fitten for a hog. They call that govment ! A man can't get 
his rights in a govment like this. Sometimes I've a mighty notion to 
just leave the country for good and all. Yes, and I told 'em so ; I told old 
Thatcher so to his face. Lots of 'em heard me, and can tell what I said. 
Says I, for two cents I'd leave the blamed country and never come anear 
it agin. Them's the very words. I says, look at my hat if you call 
it a hat but the lid raises up and the rest of it goes down till it's below 
my chin, and then it ain't rightly a hat at all, but more like my head 
was shoved up through a jint o' stove-pipe. Look at it, says I such a 
hat for me to wear one of the wealthiest men in this town, if I could git 
my rights. 

" Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful. Why, looky here. 
There was a free nigger there, from Ohio; a uiulatter, most as white as 
a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the 
shiniest hat ; and there ain't a man in that town that's got as fine clothes 
as what he had ; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed 
cane the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the State. And what do you 
think ? they said he was a p'fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds 


of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain't the wust. They said 
he could vote, when he was at home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, 
what is the country a-coming to ? It was 'lection day, and I was just about 
to go and vote, myself, if I warn't too drunk to get there ; but when 
they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let that 
nigger vote, I drawed out. I says I'll never vote agin. Them's the very 
words I said ; they all heard me ; and the country may rot for all me 
I'll never vote agin as long as I live. And to see the cool way of that 
nigger why, he wouldn't a give me the road if I hadn't shoved him out 
o' the way. I says t3 the people, why ain't this nigger put up at auction 
and sold ? that's what I want to know. And what do you reckon they 
said ? Why, they said he couldn't be sold till he'd been in the State six 
months, and he hadn't been there that long yet. There, now that's a 
specimen. They call that a govment that can't sell a free nigger till he's 
been in the State six months. Here's a govment that calls itself a govment, 
and lets on to be n govment, and thinks it is a govment, and yet's got 
to set stock-still for six whole months before it can take ahold of a prowling, 

thieving, infernal, wliite-shirted free nigger, and " 

Pap was agoing on so, he never noticed where his old limber legs was 
taking him to, so he went head over heels over the tub of salt pork, and 
barked both shins, and the rest of his speech was all the hottest kind of 
language mostly hove at the nigger and the govment, though he give the 
tub some, too, all along, here and there. He hopped around the cabin 
considerable, first on one leg and then on the other, holding first one shin 
and then the other one, and at last he let out with his left foot all of a 
sudden and fetched the tub a rattling kick. But it warn't good judgment, 
because that was the boot that had a couple of his toes leaking out of the 
front end of it ; so now he raised a howl that fairly made a body's hair 
raise, and down he went in the dirt, and rolled there, and held his toes ; 
and the cussing he done then laid over anything he had ever done previous. 
He said so his own self, afterwards. He had heard old Sowberry Hagan 
in his best days, and he said it laid over him, too ; but I reckon that was 
sort of piling it on, maybe. 



After supper pap took the jug, and said he had enough whisky there for 
two drunks and one delirium 

tremens. That was 
his word. I judged he would 
be blind drunk in about an 
hour, and then I would steal 
the key, or saw myself out, 
one or ' tother. He drank, and 
drank, and tumbled down on 
his blankets, by-and-by; but 
luck didn't run my way. He 
didn't go sound asleep, but 
was uneasy. He groaned, and 
moaned, and thrashed around 
this way and that, for a long 
time. At last I got so sleepy 
I couldn't keep my eyes open, 
all I could do, and so before 
I knowed what I was about 
I was sound asleep, and the 
candle burning. 

I don't know how long I was asleep, but all of a sudden there was an 
awful scream and I was up. There was pap, looking wild and skipping 
around every which way and yelling about snakes. He said they was crawl- 
ing up his legs ; and then he would give a jump and scream, and say one 
had bit him on the cheek but I couldn't see no snakes. He started and 
rim round and round the cabin, hollering " take him off ! take him off ! 
he's biting me on the neck ! " I never see a man look so wild in the eyes. 
Pretty soon he was all fagged out, and fell down panting; then he rolled 
over and over, wonderful fast, kicking things every which way, and striking 
and grabbing at the air with his hands, and screaming, and saying there was 
devils ahold of him. He wore out, by-and-by, and laid still a while, 
moaning. Then he laid stiller, and didn't make a sound, I could hear 



the owls and the wolves, away off in the woods, and it seemed terrible 
still. He was laying over by the corner. By-and-by he raised up, part 
way, and listened, with his head to one side. He says very low : 

"Tramp tramp tramp; that's the dead; tramp tramp tramp; they're 
coming after me; bub I won't go Oh, they're here! don't touch me don't! 
hands off they're cold ; let go Oh, let a poor devil alone!" 

Then he went down on all fours and crawled off begging them to let 
him alone, and he rolled himself up in his blanket and wallowed in under the 
old pine table, still a-begging ; and then he went to crying. I could hear 
him through the blanket. 

By-and-by he rolled out and jumped up on his feet looking wild, and 
he see me and went for me. He chased me round and round the place, 
with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel of Death and saying he would 
kill me and then I couldn't come for him no more. I begged, and told 
him I was only Huck, but he laughed such a screechy laugh, and roared 
and cussed, and kept on chasing me up. Once when I turned short and 
dodged under his arm he made a grab and got me by the jacket between 
my shoulders, and I thought I was gone ; but I slid out of the jacket 
quick as lightning, and saved myself. Pretty soon he was all tired out, 
and dropped down with his back against the door, and said he would rest 
a minute and then kill me. He put his 'knife under him, and said he 
would sleep and get strong, and then he would see who was who. 

So he dozed off, pretty soon. By-and-by I .got the old split-bottom 
chair and dumb up, as easy as I could, not to make any noise, and got 
down the gun. I slipped the ramrod down it to make sure it was loaded, 
and then I laid it across the turnip barrel, pointing towards pap, and set 
down behind it to wait for him to stir. And how slow and still the time 
did drag along. 


up! what you 'bout!" 

I opened my eyes and looked 
around, trying to make out where I 
was. It was after sun-up, and I had 
been sound asleep. Pap was standing 
over me, looking sour and sick, too. 
He says 

"What you doin' with this 

I judged he didn't know nothing 
about what he had been doing, so I 

"Somebody tried to get in, so I 
was laying for him." 

"Why didn't you roust me out?" 
"Well I tried to, but I couldn't; 

I couldn't budge you." 

"Well, all right. Don't stand there palavering all day, but out with 
you and see if there's a fish on the lines for breakfast. I'll be along in 
a minute." 

He unlocked the door and I cleared out, up the river bank. I 
noticed some pieces of limbs and such things floating down, and a sprink- 
ling of bark ; so I knowed the river had begun to rise. I reckoned I 
would have great times, now, if I was over at the town. The June rise 
used to be always luck for me ; because as soon as that rise begins, here 
comes cord-wood floating down, and pieces of log rafts sometimes a dozen 



logs together ; so all you have to do is to catch them and sell them to the 
wood yards and the sawmill. 

I went along up the bank with one eye out for pap and 'tother one out for 
what the rise might fetch along. Well, all at once, here comes a canoe ; just a 
beauty, too, about thirteen or fourteen foot long, riding high like a duck. I 
shot head first off of the bank, like a frog, clothes and all on, and struck out 
for the canoe. I just expected there'd be somebody laying down in it, because 
people often done that to fool folks, and when a chap had pulled a skiff out most 


to it they'd n^ up and laugh at him. But it warn't so this time. It was a 
drift-canoe, sure enough, and I dumb in and paddled her ashore. Thinks I, 
the old man will be glad when he sees this she's worth ten dollars. But when 
I got to shore pap wasn't in sight yet, and as I was running her into a little 
creek like a gully, all hung over with vines and willows, I struck another idea ; 
I judged I'd hide her good, and then, stead of taking to the woods when I run 
off, I'd go down the river about fifty mile and camp in one place for good, and 
not have such a rough time tramping on foot. 


It was pretty close to the shanty, and I thought I heard the old man coming, 
all the time ; but I got her hid ; and then I out and looked around a bunch of 
willows, and there was the old man down the path apiece just drawing a bead on 
a bird with his gun. So he hadn't seen anything. 

When he got along, I was hard at it taking up a " trot" line. He abused me a 
little for being so slow, but I told him I fell in the river and that was what made 
me so long. I knowed he would see I was wet, and then he would be asking 
questions. We got five cat-fish off of the lines and went home. 

While we laid off, after breakfast, to sleep up, both of us being about wore 
out, I got to thinking that if I could fix up some way to keep pap and the widow 
from trying to follow me, it would be a certainer thing than trusting to luck to 
get far enough off before they missed me ; you see, all kinds of things might 
happen. Well, I didn't see no way for a while, but by-and-by pap raised up a 
minute, to drink another barrel of water, and he says : 

" Another time a man comes a-prowling round here, you roust me out, you 
hear ? That man warn't here for no good. I'd a shot him, Next time, you 
roust me out, you hear ?" 

Then he dropped down and went to sleep again but what he had been saying 
give me the very idea I wanted. I says to myself, I can fix it now so nobody 
won't think of following mo. 

About twelve o'clock we turned out and went along up the bank. The river 
was coming up pretty fast, and lots of drift-wood going by on the rise. By-and- 
by, along comes part of a log raft nine logs fast together. We went out with 
the skiff and towed it ashore. Then we had dinner. Anybody but pap would a 
waited and seen the day through, so as to catch more stuff ; but that warn't pap's 
style. Nine logs was enough for one time ; he must shove right over to town 
and sell. So he locked me in and took the skiff and started off towing the raft 
about half-past three. I judged he wouldn't come back that night. I waited 
till I reckoned he had got a good start, then I out with my saw and went to 
work on that log again. Before he was 'tother side of the river I was out of the 
hole ; him and his raft was just a speck on the water away off yonder. 

I took the sack of corn meal and took it to where the canoe was hid, and 
shoved the vines and branches apart and put it in ; then I done the same with 



the side of bacon ; then the whisky jug ; I took all the coffee and sugar there 
was, and all the ammunition ; I took the wadding ; I took the bucket and gourd, 
I took a dipper and a tin cup, : nd my old saw and two blankets, and the skillet 
and the coffee-pot. I took fish-lines and matches and other things everything 
that was worth a cent. I cleaned out the place. I wanted an axe, but there 
wasn't any, only the one out at the wood pile, and I knowed why I was going to 
leave that. I fetched out the gun, and now I was done. 

I had wore the ground a good deal, crawling out of the hole and dragging out 


so many things. So I fixed that as good as I could from the outside by scattering 
dust on the place, which covered up the smoothness and the sawdust. Then I 
fixed the piece of log back into its place, and put two rocks under it and one 
against it to hold it there,-for it was bent up at that place, and didn't quite 
touch ground. If you stood four or five foot away and didn't know it was sawed, 
you wouldn't ever notice it ; and besides, this was the back of the cabin and it 
warn't likely anybody would go fooling around there. 

It was all grass clear to the canoe ; so I hadn't left a track. I followed 


around to see. I stood on the bank and looked out over the river. All safe. 
So I took the gun and went up a piece into the woods and was hunting around 
for some birds, when I see a wild pig ; hogs soon went wild in them bottoms 
after they had got away from the prairie farms. I shot this fellow and took 
him into camp. 

I took the axe and smashed in the door I beat it and hacked it considerable, 
a-doing it. I fetched the pig in and took him back nearly to the table and 
hacked into his throat with the ax, and laid him down on the ground to bleed 
I say ground, because it was ground hard packed, and no boards. Well, next I 
took an old sack and put a lot of big rocks in it, all I could drag and I started 
it from the pig and dragged it to the door and through the woods down to the 
river and dumped it in, and down it sunk, out of sight. You could easy see that 
something had been dragged over the ground. I did wish Tom Sawyer was 
there, I knowed he would take an interest in this kind of business, and throw in 
the fancy touches. Nobody could spread himself like Tom Sawyer in such a 
thing as that. 

Well, last I pulled out some of my hair, and bloodied the ax good, and stuck it 
on the back side, and slung the ax in the corner. Then I took up the pig and held 
him to my breast with my jacket (so he couldn't drip) till I got a good piece be- 
low the house and then dumped him into the river. Now I thought of something 
else. So I went and got the bag of meal and my old saw out of the canoe and 
fetched them to the house. I took the bag to where it used to stand, and ripped 
a hole in the bottom of it with the was, for there warn't no knives and forks on 
the place pap done everything with his clasp-knife, about the cooking. Then 
I carried the sack about a hundred yards across the grass and through the willows 
east of the house, to a shallow lake that was five mile wide and full of rushes 
and ducks too, you might say, in the season. There was a slough or a creek 
leading out of it on the other side, that went miles away, I don't know where, 
but it didn't go to the river. The meal sifted out and made a little track all the 
way to the lake. I dropped pap's whetstone there too, so as to look like it had 
been done by accident. Then I tied up the rip in the meal sack with a string, 
so it wouldn't leak no more, and took it and my saw to the canoe again. 

It was about dark, now ; so I dropped the canoe down the river under some 




willows that hung over the bank, and waited for the moon to rise. I made fast 
to a willow; then I took a bite to eat, and by-and-by laid down in the canoe to 
smoke a pipe and lay out a plan. I says to myself, they'll follow the track of 
that sackful of rocks to the shore and then drag the river for me. And they'll 
follow that meal track to the lake and go browsing down the creek that leads 
out of it to find the robbers that killed me and took the things. They won't 
ever hunt the river for anything but my dead carcass. They'll soon get tired of 
that, and won't bother no more about me. All right ; I can stop anywhere I 
want to. Jackson's Island is good enough for me ; I know that island pretty 
well, and nobody ever comes there. And then I can paddle over to town, nights, 
and slink around and pick up things I want. Jackson's Island's the place. 

I was pretty tired, and the first thing I knowed, I was asleep. When I 
woke up I didn't know where I was, for a minute. I set up and looked 
around, a little scared. Then I remembered. The river looked miles and miles 
across. The moon was so bright I could a counted the drift logs that went a 
slipping along, black and still, hundred of yards out from shore. Everything was 
dead quiet, and it looked late, and smelt late. You know what I mean I don't 
know the words to put it in. 

I took a good gap and a stretch, and was just going to unhitch and start, when 
I heard a sound away over the water. I listened. Pretty soon I made it out. It 
was that dull kind of a regular sound that comes from oars working in rowlocks 
when it's a still night. I peeped out through the willow branches, and there 
it was a skiff, away across the water. ' I couldn't tell how many was in it. It 
kept a-coming, and when it was abreast of me I see there warn't but one man in 
it. Thinks I, maybe it's pap, though I warn't expecting him. He dropped 
below me, with the current, and by-and-by he come a-swinging up shore in the 
easy water, and he went by so close I could a reached out the gun and touched 
him. Well, it was pap, sure enough and sober, too, by the way he laid to his 

I didn't lose no time. The next minute I was a-spinning down stream soft but 
quick in the shade of the bank. I made two mile and a half, and then struck 
out a quarter of a mile or more towards the middle of the river, because pretty 
soon I would be passing the ferry landing and people might see me and hail 



me. I got out amongst the drift-wood and then laid down in the bottom of the 
canoe and let her float. I laid there and had a good rest and a smoke out of my 
pipe, looking away into the sky, not a cloud in it. The sky looks ever so deep 
when you lay down on your back in the moonshine ; I never knowed it before. 
And how far a body can hear on the water such nights ! I heard people talking at 
the ferry landing. I heard what they said, too, every word of it. One man said 
it was getting towards the long days and the short nights, now. 'Tother one said 


this warn't one of the short ones, he reckoned and then they laughed, and he said it 
over again and they laughed again ; then they waked up another fellow and told 
him, and laughed, but he didn't laugh ; he ripped out something brisk and said le 
him alone. The first fellow said he 'lowed to tell it to his old woman she woulft 
think it was prety good ; but he said that warn't nothing to some things he had 
said in his time. I heard one man say it was nearly three o'clock, and he hoped 
daylight wouldn't wait more than about a week longer. After that, the talk got 
f urther and further away, and I couldn't make out the words any more, but I could 
hear the mumble ; and now and then a laugh, too, but it seemed a long ways off. 


I was away below the ferry now. I rose up and there was Jackson's 
Island, about two mile and a half down stream, heavy-timbered and standing 
up out of the middle of the river, big and dark and solid, like a steamboat 
without any lights. There warn't any signs of the bar at the head it was 
all under water, now. 

It didn't take me long to get there. I shot past the head at a ripping 
rate, the current was so swift, and then I got into the dead water and landed 
on the side towards the Illinois shore. I run the canoe into a deep dent in 
the bank that I knowed about ; I had to part the willow branches to get in ; 
and when I made fast nobody could a seen the canoe from the outside. 

I went up and set down on a log at the head of the island and looked 
out on the big river and the black driftwood, and away over to the town, 
three mile away, where there was three or four lights twinkling. A monstrous 
big lumber raft was about a mile up stream, coming along down, with a 
lantern in the middle of it. I watched it come creeping down, and when it 
was most abreast of where I stood I heard a man say, " Stern oars, there ! 
heave her head to stabboard !" I heard that just as plain as if the man was 
by my side. 

There was a little gray in the sky, now ; so I stepped into the woods and 
laid down for a nap before breakfast. 

SUN" was up so high when I waked, 
that I judged it was after eight o'clock. 
I laid there in the grass and the cool 
shade, thinking about things and feeling 
rested and ruther comfortable and satis- 
fied. I could see the sun out at one or 
two holes, but mostly it was big trees 
all about, and gloomy in there amongst 
them. There was freckled places on 
the ground where the light sifted down 
through the leaves, and the freckled 
places swapped about a little, showing 
there was a little breeze up there. A 
couple of squirrels set on a limb and 
jabbered at me very friendly. 
IN THE WOODS. j wag powerful lazy and comfortable 

didn't want to get up and cook breakfast. Well, I was dozing off again, 
when I thinks I hears a deep sound of " boom ! " away up the river. I 
rouses up and rests on my elbow and listens ; pretty soon I hears it again. 
I hopped up and went and looked out at a hole in the leaves, .and I see 
a bunch of smoke laying on the water a long ways up about abreast the 
ferry. And there was the ferry-boat full of people, floating along down. I 
knowed what was the matter, now. " Boom ! " I see the white smoke 


squirt out of the ferry-boat's side. You see, they was firing cannon over the 
water, trying to make my carcass come to the top. 

I was pretty hungry, but it warn't going to do for me to start a fire, 
because they might see the smoke. So I set there and watched the cannon- 
smoke and listened to the boom. The river was a mile wide, there, and 
it always looks pretty on a summer morning so I was having a good enough 
time seeing them hunt for my remainders, if I only had a bite to eat. 
Well, then 1 happened to think how they always put quicksilver in loaves 
of bread and float them off because they always go right to the drownded 
carcass and stop there. So says I, I'll keep a lookout, and if any of them's 
floating around after me, I'll give them a show. I changed to the Illinois 
edge of the island to see what luck I could have, and I warn't disappointed. 
A big double loaf come along, and I most got it, with a long stick, but 
my foot slipped and she floated out further. Of course I was where the 
current set in the closest to the shore I knowed enough for that. But by-and-by 
along comes another one, and this time I won. I took out the plug and 
shook out the little dab of quicksilver, and set my teeth in. It was "baker's 
bread" what the quality eat none of your low-down corn-pone. 

I got a good place amongst the leaves, and set there on a log, munching 
the bread and watching the ferry-boat, and very well satisfied. And then 
something struck me. I says, now I reckon the widow or the parson or 
somebody prayed that this bread would find me, and here it has gone and 
done it. So there ain't no doubt but there is something in that thing. 
That is, there's something in it when a body like the widow or the parson 
prays, but it don't work for me, and I reckon it don't work for only just 
the right kind. 

I lit a pipe and had a good long smoke and went on watching. The 
ferry-boat was floating with the current, and I allowed I'd have a chance 
to see who was aboard when she come along, because she would come in 
close, where the bread did. When she'd got pretty well along down towards 
me, I put out my pipe and went to where I fished out the bread, and 
laid down behind a log on the bank in a little open place. Where the 
log forked I could peep through. 


By-and-by she come along, and she drifted in so close that they could 
a run out a plank and walked ashore. Most everybody was on the boat. 
Pap, and Judge Thatcher, and Bessie Thatcher, and Jo Harper, and Tom 
Sawyer, and his old Aunt Polly, and Sid and Mary, and plenty more. Every- 
body was talking about the murder, but the captain broke in and says : 

" Look sharp, now ; the current sets in the closest here, and maybe he's 
washed ashore and got tangled amongst the brush at the water's edge. I hope so, 

I didn't hope so. They all crowded up and leaned over the rails, nearly in 
my face, and kept still, watching with all their might. I could see them first- 
rate, but they couldn't see 
me. Then the captain sung 
out : 

" Stand away ! " and the 
cannon let off such a blast 
right before me that it made 
me deef with the noise and 
pretty near blind with the /jj 
smoke, and I judged I was 
gone. If they'd a had some 
bullets in, I reckon they'd a 
got the corpse they was after. 
Well, I see I warn't hurt, 
thanks to goodness. The boat 
floated on and went out of sight 
around the shoulder of the isl- 
and. I could hear the boom- 
ing, now and then, further and 
further off, and by-and-by after 
an hour, I didn't hear it no f 
more. The island was three 
mile long. I judged they had 
got to the foot, and was giving it up. 


But they didn't yet a while. They turned 



around the foot of the island and started up the channel on the Missouri side, 
under steam, and booming once in a while as they went. I crossed over to 
that side and watched them. When they got abreast the head of the island they 
quit shooting and dropped over to the Missouri shore and went home to the 

I knowed I was all right now. Nobody else would come a-hunting after me. 
I got my traps out of the canoe and made me a nice camp in the thick woods. 
I made a kind of a tent out of my blankets to put my things under so the rain 
couldn't get at them. I catched a cat-fish and haggled him open with my saw, 

and towards sundown I started 
my camp fire and had supper. 
Then I set out a line to catch 
some fish for breakfast. 

When it was dark I set by my 
camp fire smoking, and feeling 
pretty satisfied ; but by-and-by it 
got sort of lonesome, and so I 
went and set on the bank and 
listened to the currents washing 
along, and counted the stars and 
drift-logs and rafts that come 
down, and then went to bed ; 
there ain't no better way to put 
in time when you are lonesome ; 
you can't stay so, you soon get 
over it. 

And so for three days and 
nights. No difference just the 
same thing. But the next day 
I went exploring around down 
through the island. I was boss of it ; it all belonged to me, so to say, and I 
wanted to know all about it ; but mainly I wanted to put in the time. I 
found plenty strawberries, ripe and prime ; and green summer-grapes, and 



green razberries ; and the green blackberries was just beginning to show. 
They would all come handy by-and-by, I judged. 

Well, I went fooling along in the deep woods till I judged I warn't far from 
the foot of the island. I had my gun along, but I hadn't shot nothing ; it was 
for protection ; thought I would kill some game nigh home. About this time 
I mighty near stepped on a good sized snake, and it went sliding off through 
the grass and flowers, and I after it, trying to get a shot at it. I clipped along, 
and all of a sudden I bounded right on to the ashes of a camp fire that was 
still smoking. 

My heart jumped up amongst my lungs. I never waited for to look further, 
but uncocked my gun and went sneaking back on my tip-toes as fast as ever I 
could. Every now and then I stopped a second, amongst the thick leaves, and 
listened ; but my breath come so hard I couldn't hear nothing else. I slunk 
along another piece further, then listened again ; and so on, and so on ; if I 
see a stump, I took it for a man ; if I trod on a stick and broke it, it made me 
feel like a person had cut one of my breaths in two and I only got half, and the 
short half, too. 

When I got to camp I warn't feeling very brash, there warn't miich sand in 
my craw ; but I says, this ain't no time to be fooling around. So I got all my 
traps into my canoe again so as to have them out of sight, and I put out the fire 
and scattered the ashes around to look like an old last year's camp, and then 
clumb a tree. 

I reckon I was up in the tree two hours ; but I didn't see nothing, I didn't 
hear nothing I only thought I heard and seen as much as a thousand things. 
Well, I couldn't stay up there forever ; so at last I got down, but I kept in the 
thick woods and on the lookout all the time. All I could get to eat was berries 
and what was left over from breakfast. 

By the time it was night I was pretty hungry. So when it was good and 
dark, I slid out from shore before moonrise and paddled over to the Illinois 
bank about a quarter of a mile. I went out in the woods and cooked a supper, 
and I had about made up my mind I would stay there all night, when I hear a 
plunkety-plunk, plunkety -plunk, and says to myself, horses coming ; and next I 
hear people's voices. I got everything into the canoe as quick as I could, and 


then went creeping through the woods to see what I could find out. I hadn't 
got far when I hear a man say : 

"We better camp here, if we can find a good place ; the horses is about beat 
out. Let's look around." 

I didn't wait, but shoved out and paddled away easy. I tied up in the old 
place, and reckoned I would sleep in the canoe. 

I didn't sleep much. I couldn't, somehow, for thinking. And every time I 
waked up I thought somebody had me by the neck. So the sleep didn't do me 
no good. By-and-by I says to myself, I can't live this way ; I'm agoing to find 
out who it is that's here on the island with me ; I'll find it out or bust. Well, I 
felt better, right off. 

So I took my paddle and slid out from shore just a step or two, and then let 
the canoe drop along down amongst the shadows. The moon was shining, and 
outside of the shadows it made it most as light as day. I poked along well onto 
an hour, everything still as rocks and sound asleep. Well by this time I was 
most down to the foot of the island. A little ripply, cool breeze begun to blow, 
and that was as good as saying the night was about done. I give her a turn with 
the paddle and brung her nose to shore ; then I got my gun and slipped out and 
into the edge of the woods. I set down there on a log and looked out through 
the leaves. I see the moon go off watch and the darkness begin to blanket the 
river. But in a little while I see a pale streak over the tree-tops, and knowed the 
day was coming. So I took my gun and slipped off towards where I had run 
across that camp fire, stopping every minute or two to listen. But I hadn't no 
luck, somehow ; I couldn't seem to find the place. But by-and-by, sure enough, 
I catched a glimpse of fire, away through the trees. I went for it, cautious and 
slow. By-and-by I was close enough to have a look, and there laid a man on the 
ground. It most give me the fan-tods. He had a blanket around his head, and 
his head was nearly in the fire. I set there behind a clump of bushes, in 
about six foot of him, and kept my eyes on him steady. It was getting gray 
daylight, now. Pretty soon he gapped, and stretched himself, and hove off 
the blanket, and it was Miss Watson's Jim ! I bet I was glad to see him. I 

" Hello, Jim ! " and skipped out. 


He bounced up and stared at me wild. Then he drops down on his knees, 
and puts his hands together and says : 

"Doan' hurt me don't! I hain't ever done no harm to a ghos'. I awluz 


liked dead people, en done all I could for 'em. You go en git in de river agin, 
whah you b'longs, en doan' do nuffn to Ole Jim, 'at 'uz awluz yo' fren'." 

Well, I warn't long making him understand I warn't dead. I was ever so glad 
to see Jim. I warn't lonesome, now. I told him I warn't afraid of him telling 
the people where I was. I talked along, but he only set there and looked at me ; 
never said nothing. Then I says : 

" It's good daylight. Le's get breakfast. Make up your camp fire good." 

"What's de use er makin' up de camp fire to cook strawbries en sich truck ? 
But you got a gun, hain't you ? Den we kin git sumfn better den strawbries." 

" Strawberries and such truck," I says. "Is that what you live on ?" 

" I couldn' git nuffn else," he says. 

" Why, how long you been on the island, Jim ? " 

" I come heah de night arter you's killed. " 


"What, all that time?" 

" Yes-indeedy." 

" And ain't you had nothing but that kind of rubbage to eat ? " 

" No, sah nuffn else." 

" Well, you must be most starved, ain't you ? ' 

" I reck'n I could eat a hoss. I think I could. How long you ben on de 

" Since the night I got killed." 

"No ! W'y, what has you lived on ? But you got a gun. Oh, yes, you got a 
gun. Dat's good. Now you kill sumfn en I'll make up de fire." 

So we went over to where the canoe was, and while lie built a fire in a grassy 
open place amongst the trees, I fetched meal and bacon and coffee, and coffee-pot 
and frying-pan, and sugar and tin cups, and the nigger was set back consider- 
able, because he reckoned it was all done with witchcraft. I catched a good big 
cat-fish, too, and Jim cleaned him with his knife, and fried him. 

When breakfast was ready, we lolled on the grass and eat it smoking hot. 
Jim laid it in with all his might, for he was most about starved. Then when we 
had got pretty well stuffed, we laid off and lazied. 

By-and-by Jim says : 

" But looky here, Huck, who wuz it dat 'uz killed in dat shanty, ef it warn't 
you ? " 

Then I told him the whole thing, and he said it was smart. He said Tom 
Sawyer couldn't get up no better plan than what I had. Then I says : 

' How do you come to be here, Jim, and how'd you get here ?" 

He looked pretty uneasy, and didn't say nothing for a minute. Then he 
says : 

"Maybe I better not tell." 

"Why, Jim?" 

" Well, dey's reasons. But you wouldn' tell on me ef I 'uz to tell you, would 
you, Huck ? " 

" Blamed if I would, Jim." 

" Well, I b'lieve you, Huck. I I run off." 

" Jim ! " 


" But mind, you said you wouldn't tell you know you said you wouldn't tell, 

" Well, I did. I said I wouldn't, and I'll stick to it. Honest injun I will. 

People would call me a low down Ablitionist and despise me for keeping mum 

but that don't make no difference. I ain't agoing to tell, and I ain't agoing back 
there anyways. So now, le's know all about it." 

" Well, you see, it 'uz dis way. Ole Missus dat's Miss Watson she pecks 
on me all. de time, en treats me pooty rough, but she awluz said she wouldn' 
sell me down to Orleans. But I noticed dey wuz a nigger trader roun' de place 
considable, lately, en I begin to git oneasy. Well, one night I creeps to de 
do', pooty late, en de do' warn't quite shet, en I hear ole missus tell de 
widder she gwyne to sell me down to Orleans, but she didn' want to, but she 
could git eight hund'd dollars for me, en it 'uz sich a big stack o' money she 
couldn' resis'. De widder she try to git her to say she wouldn' do it, but I 
never waited to hear de res'. I lit out mighty quick, I tell you. 

" I tuck out en shin down de hill en 'spec to steal a skift 'long de sho' 
som'ers 'bove de town, but dey wuz people a-stirrin' yit, so I hid in de ole 
tumble-down cooper shop on de bank to wait for everybody to go 'way. Well, 
I wuz dah all night. Dey wuz somebody roun' all de time. 'Long 'bout six 
in de mawnin', skifts begin to go by, en 'bout eight er nine every skift dat 
went 'long wuz talkin' 'bout how yo' pap come over to de town en say you's 
killed. Dese las' skifts wuz full o' ladies en genlmen agoin' over for to see 
de place. Sometimes dey'd pull up at de sho' en take a res' b'fo' dey started 
acrost, so by de talk I got to know all 'bout de killin'. I 'uz powerful sorry 
you's killed, Huck, but I ain't no mo', now. 

" I laid dah under de shavins all day. I 'uz hungry, but I warn't af eared ; 
bekase I knowed ole missus en de widder wuz goin' to start to de camp-meetn' 
right arter breakfas' en be gone all day, en dey knows I goes off wid de cattle 
'bout daylight, so dey wouldn' 'spec to see me roun' de place, en so dey 
wouldn' miss me tell arter dark in de evenin'. De yuther servants wouldn' 
miss me, kase dey'd shin out en take holiday, soon as de ole folks 'uz out'n 
de way. 

"Well, when it come dark I tuck out up de river road, en went 'bout 


two mile er more to whah dey warn't no houses. I'd made up my mine 
'bout what Fs agwyne to do. You see ef I kep' on try in' to git away afoot, 
de dogs 'ud track me ; ef I stole a skift to cross over, dey'd miss dat skift, 
you see, en dey'd know 'bout whah I'd Ian' on de yuther side en whah to 
pick up my track. So I says, a raff is what I's arter; it doan' make no 

" I see a light a-comin' roun' de p'int, bymeby, so I wade' in en shove' a 
log ahead o' me, en swum more'n half-way acrost de river, en got in 'mongst 
de drift-wood, en kep' my head down low, en kinder swum agin de current 
tell de raff come along. Den I swum to de stern uv it, en tuck aholt. It 
clouded up en 'uz pooty dark for a little while. So I clumb up en laid 
down on de planks. De men 'uz all 'way yonder in de middle, whah de 
lantern wuz. De river wuz arisin' en dey wuz a good current j so I reck'n'd 
'at by fo' in de mawnin' I'd be twenty-five mile down de river, en den I'd slip 
in, jis' b'fo' daylight, en swim asho' en take to de woods on de lllinoi side. 
" But I didn' have no luck. When we 'uz mos' down to de head er de 
islan', a man begin to come aft wid de lantern. I see it warn't no use fer 
to wait, so I slid overboad, en struck out fer de islan'. Well, I had a notion 
I could Ian' mos' anywhers, but I couldn't bank too bluff. I 'uz mos' to 
de foot er de islan' b'fo' I foun' a good place. I went into de woods en 
jedged I wouldn' fool wid raffs no mo', long as dey move de lantern roun' 
so. I had my pipe en a plug er dog-leg, en some matches in my cap, en dey 
warn't wet, so I 'uz all right." 

" And so you ain't had no meat nor bread to eat all this time ? Why 
didn't you get mud-turkles ? " 

"How you gwyne to git'm ? You can't slip up on urn en grab urn ; en 
how's a body gwyne to hit urn wid a rock ? How could a body do it in de 
night ? en I warn't gwyne to show mysef on de bank in de daytime." 

"Well, that's so. You've had to keep in the woods all the time, of 
course. Did you hear 'em shooting the cannon ?" 

"Oh, yes. I knowed dey was arter you. I see urn go by heah ; watched 
urn thoo de bushes." 

Some young birds come along, flying a yard or two at a time and lighting. 

SIGNS. 71 

Jim said it was a sign it was going to rain. He said it was a sign when young 
chickens flew that way, and so he reckoned it was the same way when young 
birds done it. I was going to catch some of them, but Jim wouldn't let me. 
He said it was death. He said his father laid mighty sjck once, and some of 
them catched a bird, and his old granny said his father would die, and he 

And Jim said you musn't count the things you are going to cook for dinner, 
because that would bring bad luck. The same if you shook the table-cloth 
after sundown. And he said if a man owned a bee-hive, and that man died, 
the bees must be told about it before sun-up next morning, or else the bees 
would all weaken down and quit work and die. Jim said bees wouldn't sting 
idiots ; but I didn't believe that, because I had tried them lots of times 
myself, and they wouldn't sting me. 

I had heard about some of these things before, but not all of them. 
Jim knowed all kinds of signs. He said he knowed most everything. 
I said it looked to me like all the signs was about bad luck, and so I asked 
him if there warn't any good-luck signs. He says : 

"Mighty few an' dey ain' no use to a body. What you want to 
know when good luck's a-comin' for ? want to keep it off ? " And he said : 
"Ef you's got hairy arms en a hairy breas', it's a sign dat you's agwyne 
to be rich. Well, dey's some use in a sign like dat, 'kase it's so fur 
ahead. You see, maybe you's got to be po ' a long time fust, en so you 
might git discourage' en kill yo'sef 'f you didn' know by de sign dat you 
gwyne to be rich bymeby." 

" Have you got hairy arms and a hairy breast, Jim ? " 

"What's de use to ax dat question? don' you see I has?" 

" Well, are you rich ? " 

"No, but I ben rich wunst, and gwyne to be rich agin Wunst I had 
foteen dollars, but I tuck to specalat'n', en got bnsted out." 

"What did you speculate in, Jim?" 

"Well, fust I tackled stock." 

" What kind of stock ? " 

" Why, live stock. Cattle, you know. I put ten dollars in a cow. 


But I ain' gwyne to resk no mo' money in stock. De cow up 'n' died 
on my ban's." 

"So you lost the ten dollars." 

" No, I didn ? lose it all. I on'y los' 'bout nine of it. I sole de hide en 
taller for a dollar en ten cents." 

" You had five dollars and ten cents left. Did you speculate any 
more ? " 

" Yes. You know dat one-laigged nigger dat b'longs to old Misto 

Bradish ? well, he sot up a 
bank, en say anybody dat put 
in a dollar would git fo' 
dollars mo' at de en' er de 
year. Well, all de niggers went 
in, but dey didu' have much. 
1 wuz de on'y one dat had 
much. So I stuck out for mo' 
dan fo' dollars, en I said 'f I 
didn' git it I'd start a bank 
mysef. Well o' course dat 
nigger want' to keep me out er 
de business, bekase he say 
dey warn't business 'nough for 
two banks, so he say I could 
put in my five dollars en he 
pay me thirty-five at de en' 
er de year. 

"So I done it. Den I 
reck'n'd I'd inves' de thirty- 

BRUSH'S NIGGER. five dollars right off en keep 

things a-movin'. Dey wuz a 

nigger name' Bob, dat had ketched a wood-flat, en his marster didn' 
know it ; en I bought it off'n him en told him to take de thirty-five 
dollars when de en' er de year come ; but somebody stole de wood-flat dat 

night, en nex' day de one-laigged nigger say de bank 's busted. So dey 
didn' none uv us git no money." 

' ' What did you do with the ten cents, Jim ? " 

"Well, I 'uz gwyne to spen' it, but I had a dream, en de dream tole 
me to give it to a nigger name' Balum Balum's Ass dey call him for short, 
he's one er dem chuckle-heads, you know. But he's lucky, dey say, en I 
see I warn't lucky. De dream say let Balum inves' de ten cents en he'd 
make a raise for me. Well, Balum he tuck de money, en when he wuz 
in church he hear de preacher say dat whoever give to de po' len' to de 
Lord, en boun' to git his" money back a hund'd times. So Balum he tuck 
en give de ten cents to de po,' en laid low to see what wuz gwyne to 
come of it." 

"Well, what did come of it, Jim?" 

"Nuffn' never come of it. I couldn' manage to k'leck dat money no 
way ; en Balum he couldn'. I ain' gwyne to len' no mo' money 'dout I 
see de security. Bonn' to git yo' money back a hund'd times, de preacher 
says ! Ef I could git de ten cents back, I'd call it squah, en be glad er 
de chanst." 

"Well, it's all right, anyway, Jim, long as you're going to be rich 
again some time or other." 

"Yes en I's rich now, come to look at it. I owns mysef, en I's 
wuth eight hund'd dollars. I wisht I had de money, I wouldn' want no 


WANTED to go and look at a 
place right about the middle of 
the island, that I'd found when I 
was exploring; so we started, and 
soon got to it, because the island 
was only three miles long and a 
quarter of a mile wide. 

This place was a tolerable long 
steep hill or ridge, about forty 
foot high. We had a rough time 
getting to the top, the sides was 
so steep and the bushes so thick. 
We tramped and dumb around 
all over it, and by-and-by found 
a good big cavern in the rock, 
most up to the top on the side 
towards Illinois. The cavern was 
as big as two or three rooms 
bunched together, and Jim could 
stand up straight in it. It was 
cool in there. Jim was for putting 
our traps in there, right away, 
but I said we didn't want to be 
climbing up and down there all the time. 

Jim said if we had the canoe hid in a good place, and had all the 
traps in the cavern, we could rush there if anybody was to come to the 
island, and they would never find us without dogs. And besides, he said 
them little birds had said it was going to rain, and did I want the things 
to get wet? 



So we went back and got the canoe and paddled up abreast the cavern, and 
lugged all the traps up there. Then we hunted up a place close by to hide the 
canoe in, amongst the thick willows. We took some fish off of the lines and 
set them again, and begun to get ready for dinner. 

The door of the cavern was big enough to roll a hogshead in, and on one 
side of the door the floor stuck out a little bit and was flat and a good place to 
build a fire on. So we built it there and cooked dinner. 

We spread the blankets inside for a carpet, and eat our dinner in there. 


We put all the other things handy at the back of the cavern. Pretty soon it 
darkened up and begun to thunder and lighten ; so the birds was right about it. 
Directly it begun to rain, and it rained like all fury, too, and I never see the 
wind blow so. It was one of these regular summer storms. It would get so 
dark that it looked all blue-black outside, and lovely ; and the rain would thrash 
along by so thick that the trees off a little ways looked dim and spider-webby ; 
and here would come a blast of wind that would bend the trees down and turn 
up the pale underside of the leaves ; and then a perfect ripper of a gust would 
follow along and set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just wild ; 


and next, when it was just about the bluest and blackest/**/ it was as bright 
as glory and you'd have a little glimpse of tree-tops a-plunging about, away off 
yonder in the storm, hundreds of yards further than you could see before ; dark 
as sin again in a second, and now you'd hear the thunder let go with an awful 
crash and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling down the sky towards the 
under side of the world, like rolling empty barrels down stairs, where it's long 
stairs and they bounce a good deal, you know. 

"Jim, this is nice," I says. " I wouldn't want to be nowhere else but here. 
Pass me along another hunk of fish and some hot corn-bread." 

"Well, you wouldn't a ben here, 'f it hadn't a ben for Jim. You'd a ben 
down dah in de woods widout any dinner, en gittn' mos' drownded, too, dat you 
would, honey. Chickens knows when its gwyne to rain, en so do de birds, chile." 

The river went on raising and raising for ten or twelve days, till at last it was 
over the banks. The water was three or four foot deep on the island in the low 
places and on the Illinois bottom. On that side it was a good many miles wide ; 
but on the Missouri side it was the same old distance across a half a mile 
because the Missouri shore was just a wall of high bluffs. 

Daytimes we paddled all over the island in the canoe. It was mighty cool 
and shady in the deep woods even if the sun was blazing outside. We went 
winding in and out amongst the trees ; and sometimes the vines hung so thick 
we had to back away and go some other way. Well, on every old broken-down 
tree, you could see rabbits, and snakes, and such things ; and when the island 
had been overflowed a day or two, they got so tame, on account of being hungry, 
that you could paddle right up and put your hand on them if you wanted to ; 
but not the snakes and turtles they would slide off in the water. The ridge 
our cavern was in, was full of them. We could a had pets enough if we'd wanted 

One night we catched a little section of a lumber raft nice pine planks. 
It was twelve foot wide and about fifteen or sixteen foot long, and the top stood 
above water six or seven inches, a solid level floor. We could see saw-logs go 
by in the daylight, sometimes, but we let them go ; we didn't show ourselves in 

Another night, when we was up at the head of the island, just before daylight, 


here comes a frame house down, on the west side. She was a two-story, and 
tilted over, considerable. We paddled out and got aboard clumb in at an 
up-stairs window. But it was too dark to see yet, so we made the canoe fast 
and set in her to wait for daylight. 

The light begun to come before we got to the foot of the island. Then we 
looked in at the window. We could make out a bed, and a table, and two old 
chairs, and lots of things around about on the floor ; and there was clothes 


hanging against the wall. There was something laying on the floor in the far 
corner that looked like a man. So Jim says : 

" HeUo, you ! " 

But it didn't budge. So I hollered again, and then Jim says : 

" De man ain't asleep he's dead. You hold still I'll go en see." 

He went and bent down and looked, and says : 

"It's a dead man. Yes, indeedy ; naked, too. He's ben shot in de back. 
I reck'n he's ben dead two er three days. Come in, Huck, but doan' look at his 
face it's too gashly." 


I didn't look at him at all. Jim throwed some old rags over him, but he 
needn't done it ; I didn't want to see him. There was heaps of old greasy 
cards scattered around over the floor, and old whisky bottles, and a couple of 
masks made out of black cloth ; and all over the walls was the ignorantest kind 
of words and pictures, made with charcoal. There was two old dirty calico 
dresses, and a sun-bonnet, and some women's under-clothes, hanging against 
the wall, and some men's clothing, too. We put the lot into the canoe ; it might 
come good. There was a boy's old speckled straw hat on the floor ; I took that 
too. And there was a bottle that had had milk in it ; and it had a rag stopper 
for a baby to suck. We would a took the bottle, but it was broke. There was 
a seedy old chest, and an old hair trunk with the hinges broke. They stood open, 
but there warn't nothing left in them that was any account. The way things was 
scattered about, we reckoned the people left in a hurry and warn't fixed so as to 
carry off most of their stuff. 

We got an old tin lantern, and a butcher knife without any handle, and a bran- 
new Barlow knife worth two bits in any store, and a lot of tallow candles, and a 
tin candlestick, and a gouid, and a tin cup, and a ratty old bed-quilt off the bed, 
and a reticule with needles and pins and beeswax and buttons and thread and all 
such truck in it, and a hatchet and some nails, and a fish-line as thick as my 
little finger, with some monstrous hooks on it, and a roll of buckskin, and a leather 
dog-collar, and a horse-shoe, and some vials of medicine that didn't have no label 
on them ; and just as we was leaving I found a tolerable good curry-comb, and Jim 
he found a ratty old fiddle-bow, and a wooden leg. The straps was broke off of it, 
but barring that, it was a good enough leg, though it was too long for me and not 
long enough for Jim, and we co> Jdn't find the other one, though we hunted all 

And so, take it all around, we made a good haul. When we was ready to shove 
off, we was a quarter of a mile below the island, and it was pretty broad day ; so I 
made Jim lay down in the canoe and cover up with the quilt, because if he set up, 
people could tell he was a nigger a good ways off. I paddled over to the Illinois 
shore, and drifted down most a half a mile doing it. I crept up the dead water 
under the bank, and hadn't no accidents and didn't see nobody. We got home 
all safe. 


AFTER breakfast I wanted to talk 
about the dead man and guess out how 
he come to be killed, but Jim didn't 
want to. He said it would fetch bad 
luck ; and besides, he said, he might 
come and ha'nt us ; he said a man 
that warn't buried was more likely to 
go a-ha'nting around than one that 
was planted and comfortable. That 
sounded pretty reasonable, so I didn't 
say no more ; but I couldn't keep 
from studying over it and wishing I 
knowed who shot the man, and what 
they done it for. 

We rummaged the clothes we'd got, 
and found eight dollars in silver sewed 
up in the lining of an old blanket over- 
coat. Jim said he reckoned the peorlo 
in that house stole the coat, because 
if they'd a knowed the money was there they wouldn't a left ;. I said I reckoned 
they killed him, too ; but Jim didn't want to talk about that. I says : 

" Now you think it's bad luck ; but what did you say when I fetched in the 
snake-skin that I found on the top of the ridge day before yesterday ? You said 
it was the worst bad luck in the world to touch a snake-skin with my hands. 
Well, here's your bad luck ! We've raked in all this track and eight dollars be- 
I wish we could have some bad luck like this every day, Jim." 




" Never you mind, honey, never you mind. Don't you git too peart. It's 
a-comin'. Mind I tell you, it's a-comin'." 

It did come, too. It was a Tuesday that we had that talk. Well, after dinner 
Friday, we was laying around in the grass at the upper end of the ridge, and got 
out of tobacco. I went to the cavern to get some, and found a rattlesnake in 
there. I killed him, and curled him up on the foot of Jim's blanket, ever so 
natural, thinking there'd be some fun when Jim found him there. "Well, by 
night I forgot all about the snake, and when Jim flung himself down on the 

blanket while I struck a light, 
the snake's mate was there, 
and bit him. 

He jumped up yelling, and 
the first thing the light showed 
was the varmint curled up and 
ready for another spring. I laid 
him out in a second with a 
stick, and Jim grabbed pap's 
whisky jug and begun to pour 
it down. 

He was barefooted, and the 
snake bit him right on the heel. 
That all comes of my being 
such a fool as to not remember 
that wherever you leave a dead 
snake its mate always comes 
there and curls around it. Jim 
told me to chop off the snake's 
head and throw it away, and 
then skin the body and roast a 

AND THK SNAKE. P""* f ^ T ^^ ^ ^ ^ 

eat it and said it would help 

cure him. He made me take off the rattles and tie them around his wrist, too. 
He said that that would help. Then I slid out quiet and throwed the snakes 



clear away amongst the bushes ; for I warn't going to let Jim find out it was 
all my fault, not if I could help it. 

Jim sucked and sucked at the jug, and now and then he got out of his 
head and pitched around and yelled ; but every time he come to himself he went to 
sucking at the jug again. His foot swelled up pretty big, and so did his leg ; 
but by-and-by the drunk begun to come, and so I judged he was all right ; but 
I'd druther been bit with a snake than pap's whisky. 

Jim was laid up for four days and nights. Then the swelling was all gone and 
he was around again. I made up my mind I wouldn't ever take aholt of a 
snake-skin again with my hands, 
now that I see what had come of 
it. Jim said he reckoned I would 
believe him next time. And he 
said that handling a snake-skin was 
such awful bad luck that maybe 
we hadn't got to the end of it yet. 
He said he druther see the new 
moon over his left shoulder as much 
as a thousand times than take up a 
snake-skin in his hand. Well, I 
was getting to feel that way myself, 
though I've always reckoned that 
looking at the new moon over your 
left shoulder is one of the carelessest 
and foolishest things a body can do. 
Old Hank Bunker done it once, and 
bragged about it ; and in less than 
two years he got drunk and fell off 
of the shot tower and spread himself 

out so that he was just a kind of a layer, as you may say ; and they slid him 
edgeways between two barn doors for a coffin, and buried him so, so they say, but 
I didn't see it. Pap told me. But anyway, it all come of looking at the moon 
that way, like a fool. 



Well, the days went along, and the river went down between its banks again ; 
and about the first thing we done was to bait one of the big hooks with a skinned 
rabbit and set it and catch a cat-fish that was as big as a man, being six foot two 
inches long, and weighed over two hundred pounds. We couldn't handle him, 
of course ; he would a flung us into Illinois. We just set there and watched him 
rip and tear around till he drownded. We found a brass button in his stomach, 
and a round ball, and lots of rubbage. We split the ball open with the hatchet, 
and there was a spool in it. Jim said he'd had it there a long time, to coat it 

over so and make a ball of it. It was as big a fish as was ever catched in the 
Mississippi, I reckon. Jim said he hadn't ever seen a bigger one. He would a 
been worth a good deal over at the village. They peddle out such a fish as that 
by the pound in the market house there ; everybody buys some of him ; his 
meat's as white as snow and makes a good fry. 

Next morning I said it was getting slow and dull, and I wanted to get a 
stirring up, some way. I said I reckoned I would slip over the river and find out 
what was going on. Jim liked that notion ; but he said I must go in the dark 


and look sharp. Then he studied it over and said, couldn't I put on some of 
them old things and dress up like a girl ? That was a good notion, too. So we 
shortened up one of the calico gowns and I turned up my trowser-legs to my 
knees and got into it. Jim hitched it behind with the hooks, and it was a fair 
fit. I put on the sun-bonnet and tied it under my chin, and then for a body to 
look in and see my face was like looking down a joint of stove-pipe. Jim said 
nobody would know me, even in the daytime, hardly. I practiced around all day 
to get the hang of the things, and by-and-by I could do pretty well in them, only 
Jim said I didn't walk like a girl ; and he said I must quit pulling up my gown 
to get at my britches pocket. I took notice, and done better. 

I started up the Illinois shore in the canoe just after dark. 

I started across to the town from a little below the ferry landing, and the 
drift of the current fetched me in at the bottom of the town. I tied up and 
started along the bank. There was a light burning in a little shanty thab hadn't 
been lived in for a long time, and I wondered who had took up quarters there. I 
slipped up and peeped in at the window. There was a woman about forty year 
old in there, knitting by a candle that was on a pine table. I didn't know her 
face ; she was a stranger, for you couldn't start a face in that town that I didn't 
know. Now this was lucky, because I was weakening ; I was getting afraid I 
had come ; people might know my voice and find me out But if this woman 
had been in such a little town two days she could tell me all I wanted to know ; 
so I knocked at the door, and made up my mind I wouldn't forget I was a girl. 


in," s&js the woman, and I did. 
She says : 

" Take a cheer.*' 

I done it. She looked me all over 
with her little shiny eyes, and says : 
" What might your name be ? " 
"Sarah Williams." 
"Where 'bouts do you live ? In this 
neighborhood ? " 

"No'm. In Hookerville, seven mile 
below. I've walked all the way and I'm 
all tired out." 

"Hungry, too, I reckon. I'll find 
you something." 

" No'm, I ain't hungry. I was so 
hungry I had to stop two mile below 
here at a farm ; so I ain't hungry no 

more. It's what makes me so late. My mother's down sick, and out of money 
and everything, and I come to tell my uncle Abner Moore. He lives at the 
upper end of the town, she says. I hain't ever been here before. Do you 
know him ? " 

" No ; but I don't know everybody yet. I haven't lived here quite two weeks. 
It's a considerable ways to the upper end of the town. You better stay here all 
night. Take off your bonnet." 


" No," I says, " I'll rest a while, I reckon, and go on. I ain't afeard of the 

She said she wouldn't let me go by myself, but her husband would be in by- 
and-by, maybe in a hour and a half, and she'd send him along with me. Then she 
got to talking about her husband, and about her relations up the river, and her 
relations down the river, and about how much better off they used to was, and how 
they didn't know but they'd made a mistake coming to our town, instead of let- 
ting well alone and so on and so on, till I was afeard / had made a mistake com- 
ing to her to find out what was going on in the town ; but by-and-by she 
dropped onto pap and the murder, and then I was pretty willing to let her clatter 
right along. She told about me and Tom Sawyer finding the six thousand 
dollars (only she got it ten) and all about pap and what a hard lot he was, 
and what a hard lot I was, and at last she got down to where I was murdered. 
I says : 

" Who done it ? We've heard considerable about these goings on, down in 
Hookerville, but we don't know who 'twas that killed Huck Finn." 

" Well, I reckon there's a right smart chance of people here that 'd like to 
know who killed him. Some thinks old Finn done it himself." 

"No is that so?" 

" Most everybody thought it at first. He'll never know how nigh he come to 
getting lynched. But before night they changed around and judged it was done 
by a runaway nigger named Jim." 

"Why he " 

I stopped. I reckoned I better keep still. She run on, and never noticed I 
had put in at all. 

" The nigger ran off the very night Huck Finn was killed. So there's a re- 
ward out for him three hundred dollars. And there's a reward out for old Finn 
too two hundred dollars. You see, he come to town the morning after the 
murder, and told about it, and was out with 'em on the ferry-boat hunt, and 
right away after he up and left. Before night they wanted to lynch him, but he 
was gone, you see. Well, next day they found out the nigger was gone ; they 
found out he hadn't ben seen sence ten o'clock the night the murder was done. 
So then they put it on him, you see, and while they was full of it, next day back 


comes old Finn and went boo-hooing to Judge Thatcher to get money to hunt 
for the nigger all over Illinois with. The judge give him some, and that evening 
he got drunk and was around till after midnight with a couple of mighty hard look- 
ing strangers, and then went off with them. Well, he hain't come back sence, 
and they ain't looking for him back till this thing blows over a little, for people 
thinks now that he killed his boy and fixed things so folks would think robbers done 
it, and then he'd get Huck's money without having to bother a long time with a 
lawsuit. People do say he warn't any too good to do it. Oh, he's sly, I reckon. 
If he don't come back for a year, he'll be all right. You can't prove anything on 
him, yon know ; everything will be quieted down then, and he'll walk into Huck's 
money as easy as nothing. " 

" Yes, I reckon so, 'm. I don't see nothing in the way of it. Has everybody 
quit thinking the nigger done it ?" 

" Oh, no, not everybody. A good many thinks he done it. But they'll get 
the nigger pretty soon, now, and maybe they can scare it out of him." 
" Why, are they after him yet ?" 

"Well, you're innocent, ain't yon! Does three hundred dollars lay round 
every day for people to pick up ? Some folks thinks the nigger ain't far from 
here. I'm one of them but I hain't talked it around. A few days ago I was 
talking with an old couple that lives next door in the log shanty, and they happened 
to say hardly anybody ever goes to that island over yonder that they call Jackson's 
Island. Don't anybody live there ? says I. No, nobody, says they. I didn't say 
any more, but I done some thinking. I was pretty near certain I'd seen smoke 
over there, about the head of the island, a day or two before that, so I says to my- 
self, like as not that nigger's hiding over there ; anyway, says I, it's worth the 
trouble to give the place a hunt. I hain't seen any smoke sence, so I reckon 
maybe he's gone, if it was him ; but husband's going over to see him and another 
man. He was gone up the river ; but he got back to-day and I told him as soon 
as he got here two hours ago." 

I had got so uneasy I couldn't set still. I had to do something with my 
hands ; so I took up a needle off of the table and went to threading it. My 
hands shook, and I was making a bad job of it. When the woman stopped 
talking, I looked up, and she was looking at me pretty curious, and smiling a 


little. I put down the needle and thread and let on to be interested and I was, 
too and says : 

' Three hundred dollars is a power of money. 1 wish my mother could get 
it. Is your husband going 
over there to-night ? " 

" Oh, yes. He went up 
town with the man I was 
telling you of, to get a boat 
and see if they could borrow 
another gun. They'll go over 
after midnight." 

"Couldn't they see better 
if they was to wait till day- 
time ? " 

" Yes. And couldn't the 
nigger see better, too ? After 
midnight he'll likely be asleep, 
and they can slip around 
through the woods and hunt 
up his camp fire all the better 
for the dark, if he's got one." 

"I didn't think of that." 

The woman kept looking 
at me pretty curious, and I didn't feel a bit comfortable. 

" What did you say your name was, honey ? " 

"M Mary Williams." 

Somehow it didn't seem to me that I said it was Mary before, so I didn't 
look up ; seemed to me I said it was Sarah ; so I felt sort of cornered, and 
was afeared maybe I was looking it, too. I wished the woman would say some- 
thing more ; the longer she set still, the uneasier I was. But now she says : 

" Honey, I thought you said it was Sarah when you first come in ? " 

" Oh, yes'm, I did. Sarah Mary Williams. Sarah's my first name. Some 
calls me Sarah, some calls me Mary." 


Pretty soon she says : 


" Oh, that's the way of it ? " 


I was feeling better, then, but I wished I was out of there, anyway. I 
couldn't look up yet. 

Well, the woman fell to talking about how hard times was, and how poor 
they had to live, and how the rats was as free as if they owned the place, 
and so forth, and so on, and then I got easy again. She was right about 
the rats. You'd see one stick his nose out of a hole in the corner every 
little while. She said she had to have things handy to throw at them when 
she was alone, or they wouldn't give her no peace. She showed me a bar 
of lead, twisted up into a knot, and said she was a good shot with it 
generly, but she'd wrenched her arm a day or two ago, and didn't know 
whether she could throw true, now. But she watched for a chance, and 
directly she banged away at a rat, but she missed him wide, and said " Ouch ! " 
it hurt her arm so. Then she told me to try for the next one. I wanted 
to be getting away before the old man got back, but of course I didn't let on. 
I got the thing, and the first rat that showed his nose I let drive, and if he'd 
a stayed where he was he'd a been a tolerable sick rat. She said that that was first- 
rate, and she reckoned I would hive the next one. She went and got the lump 
of lead and fetched it back and brought along a hank of yarn, which she wanted 
me to help her with. I held up my two hands and she put the hank over them 
and went on talking about her and her husband's matters. But she broke off 
to say : 

" Keep your eye on the rats. You better have the lead in your lap, handy." 

So she dropped the lump into my lap, just at that moment, and I clapped my 
legs together on it and she went on talking. But only about a minute. Then 
she took off the hank and looked me straight in the face, but very pleasant, and 

" Come, now what's your real name ? " 

"Wh-what, mum?" 

" What's your real name ? Is it Bill, or Tom, or Bob ? or what is it ? " 

I reckon I shook like a leaf, and I didn't know hardly what to do. But I 


" Please to don't poke fun at a poor girl like me, mum. If I'm in the way, 
here, I'll " 

" No, you won't. Set down and stay where you are. I ain't going to hurt 
you, and I ain't going to tell on you, nuther. You just tell me your secret, and 
trust me. I'll keep it ; and what's more, I'll help you. So'll my old man, if you 
want him to. You see, you're a runaway 'prentice that's all. It ain't any- 
thing. There ain't any harm in it. You've been treated had, and you made up 
your mind to cut. Bless you, child, I wouldn't tell on you. Tell me all about 
it, now that's a good boy." 

So I said it wouldn't be no use to try to play it any longer, and I would just 
make a clean breast and tell her everything, but she mustn't go back on her 
promise. Then I told her my father and mother was dead, and the law had 
bound me out to a mean old farmer in the country thirty mile back from the 
river, and he treated me so bad I couldn't stand it no longer ; he went away to 
be gone a couple of days, and so I took my chance and stole some of his daugh- 
ter's old clothes, and cleared out, and I had been three nights coming the thirty 
miles ; I traveled nights, and hid day-times and slept, and the bag of bread and 
meat I carried from home lasted me all the way and I had a plenty. I said I 
believed my uncle Abner Moore would take care of me, and so that was why I 
struck out for this town of G-oshen," 

" Goshen, child ? This ain't Goshen. This is St. Petersburg. Goshen's ten 
mile further up the river. Who told you this was Goshen ?" 

" Why, a man I met at day-break this morning, just as I was going to turn 
into the woods for my regular sleep. He told me when the roads forked I must 
take the right hand, and five mile would fetch me to Goshen." 

" He was drunk I reckon. He told you just exactly wrong." 

" Well, he did act like he was drunk, but it ain't no matter now. I got to be 
moving along. I'll fetch Goshen before day-light." 

" Hold on a minute. I'll put you up a snack to eat. You might want it." 

So she put me up a snack, and says : 

" Say when a cow's laying down, which end of her gets up first ? Answer 
up prompt, now don't stop to study over it. Which end gets up first ?" 

"The hind end, mum." 



Well, then, ahorse ?" 

The forward end, mum." 

Which side of a tree does the most moss grow on ? " 

"North side." 

" If fifteen cows is browsing on 
a hillside, how many of them eats 
with their heads pointed the same 
direction ?" 

" The whole fifteen, mum." 
" Well, I reckon you have lived 
in the country. I thought maybe 
you was trying to hocus me 
again. What's your real name, 

" George Peters, mum." 
" Well, try to remember it, 
George. Don't forget and tell me 
it's Elexander before you go, and 
then get out by saying it's George- 
Elexander when I catch you. 
And don't go about women in 
that old calico. You do a girl 
tolerable poor, but you might 
fool men, maybe. Bless you, 
child, when you set out to thread 

a needle, don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it ; hold 
the needle still and poke the thread at it that's the way a woman most always 
does ; but a man always does 'tother way. And when you throw at a rat or 
anything, hitch yourself up a tip-toe, and fetch your hand up over your head as 
awkard as you can, and miss your rat about six or seven foot. Throw stiff-armed 
from the shoulder, like there was a pivot there for it to turn on like a girl ; not 
from the wrist and elbow, with your arm out to one side, like a boy. And mind 
you, when a girl tries to catch anything in her lap, she throws her knees apart ; 



she don't clap them together, the way you did when you catched the lump of 
lead. Why, I spotted you for a boy when you was threading the needle ; and I 
contrived the other things just to make certain. Now trot along to your uncle, 
Sarah Mary Williams George Elexander Peters, and if you get into trouble you 
send word to Mrs. Judith Loftus, which is me, and Til do what I can to get you 
out of it. Keep the river road, all the way, and next time you tramp, take shoes 


and socks with you. The river road's a rocky one, and your feet '11 be in a 
condition when you get to Goshen, I reckon." 

I went up the bank about fifty yards, and then I doubled on my tracks and 
slipped back to where my canoe was, a good piece below the house. I jumped in 
and was off in a hurry. I went up stream far enough to make the head of the 
island, and then started across. I took off the sun-bonnet, for I didn't want no 
blinders on, then. When I was about the middle, I hear the clock begin to 
strike ; so I stops and listens ; the sound come faint over the water, but clear 
eleven. When I struck the head of the island I never waited to blow, though I 


was most winded, but I shoved right into the timber where my old camp used 
to be, and started a good fire there on a high-and-dry spot. 

Then I jumped in the canoe and dug out for our place a mile and a half 
below, as hard as I could go. I landed, and slopped through the timber and 
up the ridge and into the cavern. There Jim laid, sound asleep on the ground. 
I roused him out and says : 

" Git up and hump yourself, Jim ! There ain't a minute to lose. They're 
after us ! " 

Jim never asked no questions, he never said a word ; but the way he worked 
for the next half an hour showed about how he was scared. By that time 
everything we had in the world was on our raft and she was ready to be shoved 
out from the willow cove where she was hid. We put out the camp fire at 
the cavern the first thing, and didn't show a candle outside after that. 

I took the canoe out from shore a little piece and took a look, but if there 
was a boat around I couldn't see it, for stars and shadows ain't good to see by. 
Then we got out the raft and slipped along down in the shade, past the foot 
of the island dead still, never saying a word. 

X s 


MUST a been close onto one o'clock 
when we got below the island at last, 
and the raft did seem to go mighty slow. 
If a boat was to come along, we was 
going to take to the canoe and break for 
the Illinois shore ; and it was well a boat 
didn't come, for we hadn't ever thought 
to put the gun into the canoe, or a fish- 
ing-line or anything to eat. We was in 
ruther too much of a sweat to think of 
so many things. It warn't good judg- 
ment to put everything on the raft. 

If the men went to the island, I just 
expect they found the camp fire I built, 
and watched it all night for Jim to 
come. Anyways, they stayed away from 
us, and if my building the fire never 

fooled them it warn't no fault of mine. I played it as low-down on them 
as I could. 

When the first streak of day begun to show, we tied up to a tow-head in a 
big bend on the Illinois side, and hacked off cotton-wood branches with the 
hatchet and covered up the raft with them so she looked like there had been 
a cave-in in the bank there. A tow-head is a sand-bar that has cotton-woods 
on it as thick as harrow-teeth. 

We had mountains on the Missouri shore and heavy timber on the Illinois side, 


and the channel was down the Missouri shore at that place, so we warn't afraid 
of anybody running across us. We laid there all day and watched the rafts and 
steamboats spin down the Missouri shore, and up-bound steamboats fight the 
big river in the middle. I told Jim all about the time I had jabbering with 
that woman ; and Jim said she was a smart one, and if she was to start after us 
herself she wouldn't set down and watch a camp fire no, sir, she'd fetch a 
dog. Well, then, I said, why couldn't she tell her husband to fetch a dog ? Jim 
said he bet she did think of it by the time the men was ready to start, and he 
believed they must a gone up town to get a dog and so they lost all that time, or 
else we wouldn't be here on a tow-head sixteen or seventeen mile below the village 
no, indeedy, we would be in that same old town again. So I said I didn't care 
what was the reason they didn't get us, as long as they didn't. 

When it was beginning to come on dark, we poked our heads out of the cot- 
tonwood thicket and looked up, and down, and across ; nothing in sight ; so Jim 
took up some of the top planks of the raft and built a snug wigwam to get under 
in blazing weather and rainy, and to keep the things dry. Jim made a floor for 
the wigwam, and raised it a foot or more above the level of the raft, so now the 
blankets and all the traps was out of the reach of steamboat waves. Right in the 
middle of the wigwam we made a layer of dirt about five or six inches deep with 
a frame around it for to hold it to its place ; this was to build a fire on in sloppy 
weather or chilly ; the wigwam would keep it from being seen. We made an ex- 
tra steering oar, too, because one of the others might get broke, on a snag or 
something. We fixed up a short forked stick to hang the old lantern on ; be- 
cause we must always light the lantern whenever we see a steamboat coming down 
stream, to keep from getting run over ; but we wouldn't have to light it for up- 
Btream boats unless we see we was in what they call a "crossing ;" for the river 
was pretty high yet, very low banks being still a little under water ; so up-bound 
boats didn't always ran the channel, but hunted easy water. 

This second night we run between seven and eight hours, with a current that 
was making over four mile an hour. We catched fish, and talked, and we took a 
swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down 
the big still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn't 
ever feel like talking loud, and it warn't often tlwt we laughed, only a little 



"kind of a low chuckle. We had mighty good weather, as a general thing, and noth- 
ing ever happened to us at all, that night, nor the next, nor the next. 

Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on black hillsides, noth- 
ing but just a shiny bed of lights, not a house could you see. The fifth night 
we passed St. Louis, and it was like the whole world lit up. In St. Petersburg 
they used to say there was twenty or thirty thousand people in St. Louis, but I 
never believed it till I see that wonderful spread of lights at two o'clock that still 
night. There warn't a sound there ; everybody was asleep. 

Every night, now, I used to slip ashore, towards ten o'clock, at some little 
village, and buy ten or fifteen cents' worth of meal or bacon or other stuff to eat ; 
and sometimes I lifted a chicken that warn't roosting comfortable, and took him 
along. Pap always said, take a 
chicken when you get a chance, 
because if you don't want him 
yourself you can easy find some- 
body that does, and a good deed 
ain't ever forgot. I never see 
pap when he didn't want the 
chicken himself, but that is what 
he used to say, anyway. 

Mornings, before daylight, I 
slipped into corn fields and bor- 
rowed a watermelon, or a mush- 
melon, or a punkin, or some 
new corn, or things of that kind. 
Pap always said it warn't no 
harm to borrow things, if you 
was meaning to pay them back, 
sometime ; but the widow said 
it warn't anything but a soft 
name for stealing, and no decent 
body would do it. Jim said he reckoned the widow was partly right and pap 
was partly right ; so the best way would be for us to pick out two or three 



things from the list and say we wouldn't borrow them anymore then he reckoned 
it wouldn't be no harm to borrow the others. So we talked it over all one night, 
drifting along down the river, trying to make up our minds whether to drop the 
watermelons, or the cantelopes, or the mushmelons, or what. But towards day- 
light we got it all settled satisfactory, and concluded to drop crabapples and 
p'simmons. We warn't feeling just right, before that, but it was all comfortable 
now. I was glad the way it come out, too, because crabapples ain't ever good, 
and the p'simmons wouldn't be ripe for two or three months yet. 

We shot a water-fowl, now and then, that got up too early in the morning or 
didn't go to bed* early enough in the evening. Take it all around, we lived pretty 

The fifth night below St. Louis we had a big storm after midnight, with a 
power of thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in a solid sheet. We 
stayed in the wigwam and let the raft take care of itself. When the lightning 
glared out we could see a big straight river ahead, and high rocky bluffs on both 
sides. By-and-by says I, " Hel-fo, Jim, looky yonder ! " It was a steamboat that 
had killed herself on a rock. We was drifting straight down for her. The lightning 
showed her very distinct. She was leaning over, with part of her upper deck 
above water, and you could see every little chimbly-guy clean and clear, and a 
chair by the big bell, with an old slouch hat hanging on the back of it when the 
flashes come. 

Well, it being away in the night, and stormy, and all so mysterious-like, T 
felt just the way any other boy would a felt when I see that wreck laying 
there so mournful and lonesome in the middle of the river. I wanted to 
get aboard of her and slink around a little, and see what there was there. So 
I says : 

"Le's land on her, Jim." 

But Jim was dead against it, at first. He says : 

" I doan' want to go fool'n 'long er no wrack. We's doin' blame' well, en we 
better let blame' well alone, as de good book says. Like as not dey's a watchman 
on dat wrack.' 

" Watchman your grandmother," I says ; " there ain't nothing to watch but 
the texas and the pilot-house ; and do you reckon anybody's going to resk his 


life for a texas and a pilot-house such a night as this, when it's likely to break up 
and wash off down the river any minute ? " Jim couldn't say nothing to that, 
so he didn't try. "And besides," I says, "we might borrow something worth 
having, out of the captain's stateroom. Seegars, / bet you and cost five cents 
apiece, solid cash. Steamboat captains is always rich, and get sixty dollars a 
month, and they don't care a cent what a thing costs, you know, long as they 
want it. Stick a candle in your pocket ; I can't rest, Jim, till we give her a 
rummaging. Do you reckon Tom Sawyer would ever go by this thing ? Not 
for pie, he wouldn't. He'd call it an adventure that's what he'd call it ; 
and he'd land on that wreck if it was his last act. And wouldn't he throw 
style into it ? wouldn't he spread himself, nor nothing ? Why, you'd think it 
was Christopher C'lumbus discovering Kingdom-Come. I wish Tom Sawyer 
was here." 

Jim he grumbled a little, but give in. He said we mustn't talk any more 
than we could help, and then talk mighty low. The lightning showed us the 
wreck again, just in time, and we fetched the starboard .derrick, and made 
fast there. 

The deck was high out, here. We went sneaking down the slope of it to 
labboard, in the dark, towards the texas, feeling our way slow with our feet, and 
spreading our hands out to fend off the guys, for it was so dark we couldn't see 
no sign of them. Pretty soon we struck the forward end of the skylight, and 
dumb onto it ; and the next step fetched us in front of the captain's door, which 
was open, and by Jimminy, away down through the texas-hall we see a light ! 
and all in the same second we seem to hear low voices in yonder ! 

Jim whispered and said he was feeling powerful .sick, and told me to come 
along. I says, all right ; and was going to start for the raft ; but just then I 
heard a voice wail out and say : 

" Oh, please don't, boys ; I swear I won't ever tell ! " 

Another voice said, pretty loud : 

" It's a lie, Jim Turner. You've acted this way before. You always want 
more'n your share of the truck, and you've always got it, too, because you've 
swore 't if you didn't you'd tell. But this time you've said it jest one time too 
many. You're the meanest, treacherousest hound in this country.'' 



By this time Jim was gone for the raft. I was just a-biling with curiosity ; 
and I says to myself, Tom Sawyer wouldn't back out now, and so I won't either j 
I'm agoing to see what's going on here. So I dropped on my hands and knees, 
in the little passage, and crept aft in the dark, till there warn't but about one 
stateroom betwixt me and the cross-hall of the texas. Then, in there I see a man 
stretched on the floor and tied hand and foot, and two men standing over him, 


and one of them had a dim lantern in his hand, and the other one had a pistol. 
This one kept pointing the pistol at the man's head on the floor and saying- 

<<I'd like to ! And I orter, too, a mean skunk !" 

The man on the floor would shrivel up, and say : " Oh, please don't, Bill-I 
hain't ever goiu' to tell." 

And every time he said that, the man with the lantern would laugh, and say : 

1 you ain't! You never said no truer thing 'n that, you bet you." 

once he said : - Hear him beg ! and yit if we hadn't got the best of him 

tied h,m, he'd a killed us both. And what/or? Jist for noth'n. Jist be- 


cause we stood on our rights that's what for. But I lay you ain't agoin' to 
threaten nobody anymore, Jim Turner. Put up that pistol, Bill." 

Bill says : 

" I don't want to, Jake Packard. I'm for killin' him and didn't he kill old 
Hatfield jist the same way and don't he deserve it ? " 

" But I don't want him killed, and I've got my reasons for it." 

" Bless yo' heart for them words, Jake Packard ! I'll never forgit you, long's 
I live ! " says the man on the floor, sort of blubbering. 

Packard didn't take no notice of that, but hung up his lantern on a nail, and 
started towards where I was, there in the dark, and motioned Bill to come. I 
crawfished as fast as I could, about two yards, but the boat slanted so that I 
couldn't make very good time ; so to keep from getting run over and catched I 
crawled into a stateroom on the upper side. The man come a-pawing along in 
the dark, and when Packard got to my stateroom, he says : 

" Here come in here." . 

And in he come, and Bill after him. But before they got in, I was up in the 
upper berth, cornered, and sorry I come. Then they stood there, with their 
hands on the ledge of the berth, and talked. I couldn't see them, but I could 
tell where they was, by the whisky they'd been having. I was glad I didn't 
drink whisky ; but it wouldn't made much difference, anyway, because most of 
the time they couldn't a treed me because I didn't breathe. I was too scared. And 
besides, a body couldn't breathe, and hear such talk. They talked low and earnest. 
Bill wanted to kill Turner. He says : 

" He's said he'll tell, and he will. If we was to give both our shares to him 
now, it wouldn't make no difference after the row, and the way we've served him. 
Shore's you're born, he'll turn State's evidence ; now you hear me. I'm for put- 
ting him out of his troubles." 

" So'm I," says Packard, very quiet. 

" Blame it, I'd sorter begun to think you wasn't. Well, then, that's all right. 
Les' go and do it. " 

" Hold on a minute ; I hain't had my say yit. You listen to me. Shooting's 
good, but there's quieter ways if the thing's got to be done. But what / say, is 
this ; it ain't good sense to go court'n around after a halter, if you can git at 



what you're up to in some way that's jist as good and at the same time don't bring 
you into no resks. Ain't that so ? " 

" You bet it is. But how you goin' to manage it this time ? " 
" Well, my idea is this : we'll rustle around and gether up whatever pickins we've 
overlooked in the staterooms, and shove for shore and hide the truck. Then 
we'll wait. Now I say it ain't agoin' to be more 'n two hours befo' this wrack 
breaks up and washes off down the river. See ? He'll be drownded, and won't 
have nobody to blame. for it but his own self. I reckon that's a considerble sight 
better'n killin' of him. I'm unfavorable to killin' a man as long as you can git 
around it ; it ain't good sense, it ain't good morals. Ain't I right ? " 

"Yes I reck'n you are. 
But s'pose she don't break 
up and wash off ? " 

"Well, we can wait the 
two hours, anyway, and see, 
can't we ? " 

" All right, then ; come 

So they started, and I lit 
out, all in a cold sweat, and 
scrambled forward. It was 
dark as pitch there; but I 
said in a kind of a coarse 
whisper, "Jim!" and he 
answered up, right at my 
elbow, with a sort of a moan, 
and I says : 

"Quick, Jim, it ain't no 
time for fooling around and 
moaning ; there's a gang of 


murderers in yonder, and 

if we don't hunt up their boat and set her drifting down the river so these 
fellows can't get away from the wreck, there's one of 'em going to be in a bad fix. 



But if we find their boat we can put all of 'em in a bad fix for the Sheriff '11 get 
'em. Quick hurry ! I'll hunt the labboard side, you hunt the stabboard. You 

start at the raft, and " 

" Oh, my lordy, lordy ! Raf f Dey ain' no raf no mo', she done broke loose 
en gone ! 'en here we is ! " 



ELL, I catched my breath and most 
fainted. Shut up on a wreck with such 
a gang as that ! But it warn't no time 
to be sentimentering. "We'd got to 
find that boat, now had to have it for 
ourselves. So we went a-quaking and 
shaking down the stabboard side, and 
slow work it was, too seemed a week 
before we got to the stern. No sign of 
a boat. Jim said he didn't believe he 
could go any further so scared he 
hadn't hardly any strength left, he said. 
But I said come on, if we get left on this 
wreck, we are in a fix, sure. So on we 
prowled, again. We struck for the 
stern of tbe texas, and found it, and 
then scrabbled along forwards on the 
skylight, hanging on from shutter to 

shutter, for the edge of the skylight was in the water. When we got pretty close 
to the cross-hall door, there was the skiff, sure enough ! I could just barely see 
her. I felt ever so thankful. In another second I would a been aboard of her ; 
but just then the door opened. One of the men stuck his head out, only about a 
couple of foot from me, and I thought I was gone ; but he jerked it in again, 
and says : 

"Heave that blame lantern out o' sight, Bill !" 

He flung a bag of something into the boat, and then got in himself, and set 


down. It was Packard. Then Bill he come out and got in. Packard says, in a 
low voice : 

"All ready shove off !" 

I couldn't hardly hang onto the shutters, I was so weak. But Bill says : 

" Hold on 'd you go through him ? " 

"No. Didn't you?" 

" No. So he's got his share o' the cash, yet." 

" Well, then, come along no use to take truck and leave money." 

" Say won't he suspicion what we're up to ? " 

" Maybe he won't. But we got to have it anyway. Come along." 

So they got out and went in. 

The door slammed to, because it was on the careened side ; and in a half 
second I was in the boat, and Jim come a tumbling after me. I out with my 
knife and cut the rope, and away we went ! 

"We didn't touch an oar, and we didn' speak nor whisper, nor hardly even 
breathe. We went gliding swift along, dead silent, past the tip of the paddle- 
box, and past the stern ; then in a second or two more we was a hundred yards 
below the wreck, and the darkness soaked her up, every last sign of her, and 
we was safe, and knowed it. 

When we was three or four hundred yards down stream, we see the lantern 
show like a little spark at the texas door, for a second, and we knowed by that 
that the rascals had missed their boat, and was beginning to understand that they 
was in just as much trouble, now, as Jim Turner was. 

Then Jim manned the oars, and we took out after our raft. Now was the first 
time that I begun to worry about the men I reckon I hadn't had time to before. 
I begun to think how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix. I 
says to myself, there ain't no telling but I might come to be a murderer myself, 
yet, and then how would / like it ? So says I to Jim: 

" The first light we see, we'll land a hundred yards below it or above it, in a 
place where it's a good hiding-place for you and the skiff, and then I'll go and 
fix up some kind of a yarn, and get somebody to go for that gang and get them 
out of their scrape, so they can be hung when their time comes." 

But that idea was a failure ; for pretty soon it begun to storm again, and this 



time worse than ever. The rain poured down, and never a light showed ; every- 
body in bed, I reckon. We boomed along down the river, watching for lights and 
watching for our raft. After a long time the rain let up, but the clouds staid, 
and the lightning kept whimpering, and by-and-by a flash showed us a black 
thing ahead, floating, and we made for it. 

It was the raft, and mighty glad was we to get aboard of it again. We seen a 


light, now, away down to the right, on shore. So I said I would go for it. The skiff 
was half full of plunder which that gang had stole, there on the wreck. We hustled 
it onto the raft in a pile, and I told Jim to float along down, and show a light 
when he judged he had gone about two mile, and keep it burning till I come ; 
then I manned my oars and shoved for the light. As I got down towards it, three 
or four more showed-up on a hillside. It was a village. I closed in above the 
shore-light, and laid on my oars and floated. As I went by, I see it was a lantern 
hanging on the jackstaff of a double-hull ferry-boat. I skimmed around for the 
watchman, a-wondering whereabouts he slept; and by-and-by I found him roost- 


ing on the bitts, forward, with his head down between his knees. I give his 
shoulder two or three little shoves, and begun to cry. 

He stirred up, in a kind of a startlish way ; but when he see it was only me, he 
took a good gap and stretch, and then he says : 

" Hello, what's up ? Don't cry, bub. - What's the trouble ? " 

I says : 

" Pap, and mam, and sis, and " 

Then I broke down. He says : 

" Oh, dang it, now, don't take on so, we all has to have our troubles and this'n 
'11 come out all right. What's the matter with 'em ? " 

" They're they're are you the watchman of the boat ? '' 

" Yes," he says, kind of pretty-well-satisfied like. "I'm the captain and the 
owner, and the mate, and the pilot, and watchman, and head deck-hand ; and 
sometimes I'm the freight and passengers. I ain't as rich as old Jim Hornback, 
and I can't be so blame' generous and good to Tom, Dick and Harry as what he 
is, and slam around money the way he does ; but I've told him a many a time 't I 
wouldn't trade places with him ; for, says 1, a sailor's life's the life for me, and 
I'm derned if I'd live two mile out o' town, where there ain't nothing ever goin' 
on, not for all his spondulicks and as much more on top of it. Says I " 

I broke in and says : 

" They're in an awful peck of trouble, and 

"W7io is?" 

" Why, pap, and mam, and sis, and Miss Hooker ; and if you'd take your 
ferry-boat and go up there " 

" Up where ? Where are they ? " 

"On the wreck." 

"What wreck ?" 

" Why, there ain't but one." 

"What, you don't mean the Walter Scott?" 


" Good land ! what are they doin' there, for gracious sakes ? " 

"Well, they didn't go there a-purpose." 

"I bet they didn't! Why, great goodness, there ain't no chance for 'em if 


they don't git off mighty quick ! Why, how in the nation did they ever git into 
such a scrape?" 

" Easy enough. Miss Hooker was a-visiting, up there to the town " 

"Yes, Booth's Landing go on." 

" She was a-visiting, there at Booth's Landing, and just in the edge of the 
evening she started over with her nigger woman in the horse-ferry, to stay all 
night at her friend's house, Miss What-you-may-call-her, I disremember her 
name, and they lost their steering-oar, and swung around and went a-floating 
down, stern-first, about two mile, and saddle-baggsed on the wreck, and the ferry 
man and the nigger woman and the horses was all lost, but Miss Hooker she 
made a grab and got aboard the wreck. Well, about an hour after dark, we 
come along down in our trading-scow, and it was so dark we didn't notice the 
wreck till we was right on it ; and so we saddle-baggsed ; but all of us was saved 
but Bill Whipple and oh, he was the best cretur ! I most wish't it had been 
me, I do." 

" My George ! It's the beatenest thing I ever struck. And then what did 
yon all do ? " 

"Well, we hollered and took on, but it's so wide there, we couldn't make 
nobody hear. So pap said somebody got to get ashore and get help somehow. 
I was the only one that could swim, so I made a dash for it, and Miss Hooker 
she said if I didn't strike help sooner, come here and hunt up her uncle, and he'd 
fix the thing. I made the land about a mile below, and been fooling along ever 
since, trying to get people to do something, but they said, ' What, in such a night 
and such a current ? there ain't no sense in it ; go for the steam-ferry.' Now if 
you'll go, and " 

" By Jackson, I'd like to, and blame it I don't know but I will ; but who in 
the dingnation's agoin' to pay for it ? Do you reckon your pap " 

" Why that's all right. Miss Hooker she told me, particular, that her uncle 
Hornback " 

"Great guns! is Tie her uncle? Looky here, you break for that light 
over yonder-way, and turn out west when you git there, and about a quarter 
of a mile out you'll come to the tavern ; tell 'em to dart you out to Jim Horn- 
back's and he'll foot the bill. And don't you fool around any, because he'll 


want to know the news. Tell him I'll have his niece all safe before he can 
get to town. Hump yourself, now ; I'm agoing up around the corner here, to 
roust out my engineer." 

I struck for the light, but as soon as he turned the corner I went back 
and got into my skiff and bailed her out and then pulled up shore in 
the easy water about six hundred yards, and tucked myself in among some 
woodboats ; for I couldn't rest easy till I could see the ferry-boat start. But 
take it all around, I was feeling rather comfortable on accounts of taking all 
this trouble for that gang, for not many would a done it. I wished the 


widow knowed about it. I judged she would be proud of me for helping 
these rapscallions, because rapscallions and dead beats is the kind the widow 
and good people takes the most interest in. 

Well, before long, here comes the wreck, dim and dusky, sliding along 
down ! A kind of cold shiver went through me, and then I struck out for 
her. She was very deep, and I see in a minute there warn't much chance 
for anybody being alive in her. I pulled all around her and hollered a little, 
but there wasn't any answer ; all dead still. I felt a little bit heavy-hearted 
about the gang, but not much, for I reckoned if they could stand it, I could. 



Then here comes the ferry-boat ; so I shoved for the middle of the river 
on a long down-stream slant ; and when I judged I was out of eye-reach, I 
laid on my oars, and looked back and see her go and smell around the wreck 
for Miss Hooker's remainders, because the captain would know her uncle 
Hornback would want them ; and then pretty soon the ferry-boat give it up 
and went for shore, and I laid into my work and went a-booming down the river. 


It did seem a powerful long time before Jim's light showed up ; and when it 
did show, it looked like it was a thousand mile off. By the time I got there the 
sky was beginning to get a little gray in the east ; so we struck for an island, 
and hid the raft, and sunk the skiff, and turned in and slept like dead people. 

>Y-and-by, when we got up, we turned 
over the truck the gang had stole off 
of the wreck, and found boots, and 
blankets, and clothes, and all sorts of 
other things, and a lot of books, and a 
spyglass, and three boxes of seegars. 
We hadn't ever been this rich before, 
in neither of our lives. The seegars 
was prime. We laid off all the after- 
noon in the woods talking, and me 
reading the books, and having a gen- 
eral good time. I told Jim all about 
what happened inside the wreck, and 
at the ferry-boat ; and I said these 
kinds of things was adventures ; but 
he said he didn't want no more advent- 
ures. He said that when I went in the 
texas and he crawled back to get on 
the raft and found her gone, he nearly died ; because he judged it was all up 
with him, anyway it could be fixed ; for if he didn't get saved he would get 
drownded ; and if he did get saved, whoever saved him would send him back 
home so as to get the reward, and then Miss Watson would sell him South, 
sure. Well, he was right ; he was most always right ; he had an uncommon level 
head, for a nigger. 

I read considerable to Jim about kings, and dukes, and earls, and such, and 
how gaudy they dressed, and how much style they put on, and called each other 




your majesty, and your grace, and your lordship, and so on, 'stead of mister ; 
and Jim's eyes bugged out, and he was interested. He says : 

" I didn' know dey was so many un um. I hain't hearn 'bout none un um, 
skasely, but ole King Sollermun, onless you counts dem kings dat's in a pack er 
k'yards. How much do a king git?" 

" Get? " I says ; " why, they get a thousand dollars a month if they want it ; 
they can have just as much as they want ; everything belongs to them." 

" Ain' dat gay? En what dey got to do, Huck? " 


" TJiey don't do nothing! Why how you talk. They just set around." 

"No is dat so?" 

" Of course it is. They just set around. Except maybe when there 's a war; 
then they go to the war. But other times they just lazy around ; or go hawking 
just hawking and sp Sh! d' you h^ar a noise? " 

We skipped out and looked; but it warn't nothing but the flutter of a 
steamboat's wheel, away down coming around the point ; so we come back. 

" Yes," says I, " and other times, when things is dull, they fuss with the 


parlyment; and if everybody don't go just so he whacks their heads off. But 
mostly they hang round the harem." 

"Roun' de which?" 


" What's de harem?" 

" The place where he keep his wives. Don't you know about the harem ? 
Solomon had one ; he had about a million wives." 

"Why, yes, dat's so; I I'd done forgot it. A harem's a bo'd'n-house, I 
reck'n. Mos' likely dey has rackety times in de nussery. En I reck'n de wives 
quarrels considable ; en dat 'crease de racket. Yit dey say Sollermun de wises' 
man dat ever live'. I doan' take no stock in dat. Bekase why : would a wise 
man want to live in de mids' er sich a blimblammin' all de time? No 'deed he 
wouldn't. A wise man 'ud take en buil' a biler-factry; en den he could shet 
down de biler-factry when he want to res'." 

"'Well, but he was the wisest man, anyway ; because the widow she told me 
so, her own self." 

"I doan k'yer what de widder say, he toarn't no wise man, nuther. He had 
some er de dad-fetchedes' ways I ever see. Does you know 'bout dat chile dat he 
'uz gwyne to chop in two?" 

"Yes, the widow told me all about it." 

" Well, den! Warn' dat de beatenes' notion in de worl'? You jes' take en 
look at it a minute. Dah's de stump, dah dat's one er de women : heah's you 
dat's de yuther one ; I's Sollermun ; en dish-yer dollar bill's do chile. Bofe un 
you claims it. What does I do? Does I shin aroun' mongs' de neighbors en fine 
out which un you de bill do b'long to, en han' it over to de right one, all safe en 
soun', de way dat anybody dat had any gumption would? No I take en whack 
de bill in two, en give half un it to you, en de yuther half to de yuther woman. 
Dat's de way Sollermun was gwyne to do wid de chile. Now I want to ast you: 
what's de use er dat half a bill ? can't buy noth'n wid it. En what use is a half 
a chile? I would'n give a dern for a million un um." 

" But hang it, Jim, you've clean missed the point blame it, you've missed it 
a thousand mile." 

" Who ? Me ? Go 'long. Doan' talk to me 'bout yo' pints. I reck'n I knows 



sense when I sees it ; en dey ain' no sense in sich doin's as dat. De 'spute warn't 
'bout a half a chile, de 'spute was 'bout a whole chile ; en de man dat think he 
kin settle a 'spute 'bout a whole chile wid a half a chile, doan' know enough to 
come in out'n de rain. Doan' talk to me 'bout Sollennun, Huck, I knows him 
by de back. " 

" But I tell you you don't get the point." 

" Blame de pint ! I reck'n I knows what 1 knows. En mine you, de real pint 
is down furder it's down deeper. It lays in de way Sollermun was raised. You 


take a man dat's got on'y one er two chillen ; is dat man gwyne to be waseful o' 
chillen ? No, he ain't ; he can't 'ford it. He know how to value 'em. But you 
take a man dat's got 'bout five million chillen runnin' roun' de house, en it's 
diffunt. He as soon chop a chile in two as a cat. Dey's plenty mo'. A chile er 
two, mo' er less, warn't no consekens to Sollermun, dad fetch him ! " 

I never see such a nigger. If he got a notion in his head once, there warn't 
no getting it out again. He was the most down on Solomon of any nigger I ever 
see. So I went to talking about other kings, and let Solomon slide. I told about 
Louis Sixteenth that got his head cut off in France long time age ; and about his 


little boy the dolphin, that would a been a king, but they took and shut him up 
in jail, and some say he died there. 

" Po' little chap." 

" But some says he got out and got away, and come to America." 

" Dat's good ! But he'll be pooty lonesome dey ain' no kings here, is dey, 


"Den he cain't git no situation. What he gwyne to do ?" 

" "Well, I don't know. Some of them gets on the police, and some of them 
learns people how to talk French." 

" Why, Huck, doan' de French people talk de same way we does ?" 

" No, Jim ; you couldn't understand a word they said not a single word." 

"Well, now, I be ding-busted ! How do dat come ?" 

" /don't know ; but it's so. I got some of their jabber out of a book. Spose 
a man was to come to you and say Polly-voo-franzywhat would you think ? " 

" I wouldn' think nuff 'n ; I'd take en bust him over de head. Dat is, if he 
warn't white. I wouldn't 'low no nigger to call me dat." 

"Shucks, it ain't calling you anything. It's only saying do you know how to 
talk French." 

"Well, den, why couldn't he say it ?" 

" Why, he is a-saying it. That's a Frenchman's way of saying it." 

" Well, it's a blame' ridicklous way, en I doan' want to hear no mo' 'bout it. 
Dey ain' no sense in it." 

" Looky here, Jim ; does a cat talk like we do ? " 

"No, a cat don't." 

"Well, does a cow ?" 

"No, a cow don't, nuther." 

" Does a cat talk like a cow, or a cow talk like a cat ? " 

"No, dey don't." 

"It's natural and right for 'em to talk different from each other, ain't it ? " 


" And ain't it natural and right for a oat und a cow to talk different from us f " 

' Why, mos' sholy it is." 


" Well, then, why ain't it natural and right for a Frenchman to talk different 
from us ? You answer me that." 

" Is a cat a man, Huck ? " 


" Well, den, dey ain't no sense in a cat talkin' like a man. Is a cow a man ? 
eris a cow a cat ?" 

" No, she ain't either of them." 

"Well, den, she aiu' got no business to talk like either one er the yuther of 
'em. Is a Frenchman a man ?" 


." Well, den ! Dad blame it, why doan' he talk like a man ? You answer me 

I see it warn't no use wasting words you can't learn a nigger to argue. So 
I quit. 

yY E judged that three nights more would 
fetch us to Cairo, at the bottom of 
Illinois, where the Ohio River conies 
in, and that was what we was after. 
We would sell the raft and get on a 
steamboat and go way up the Ohio 
amongst the free States, and then be 
out of trouble. 

Well, the second night a fog be- 
gun to come on, and we made for a 
tow-head to tie to, for it wouldn't 
do to try to run in fog ; but when I 
paddled ahead in the canoe, with the 
line, to make fast, there warn't any- 
thing but little saplings to tie to. 
I passed the line around one of them 
right on the edge of the cut bank, 
but there was a stiff current, and the 
raft come booming down so lively she tore it out by the roots and away she 
went. I see the fog closing down, and it made me so sick and scared I 
couldn't budge for most a half a minute it seemed to me and then there 
warn't no raft in sight ; you couldn't see twenty yards. I jumped into the 
canoe and run back to the stern and grabbed the paddle and set her back a 
stroke. But she didn't come. I was in such a hurry I hadn't untied her. 
I got up and tried to untie her, but I was so excited my hands shook so I 
couldn't hardly do anything with them. 

As soon as I got started I took out after the raft, hot and heavy, right 



down the tow-head. That was all right as far as it went, but the tow-head 
warn't sixty yards long, and the minute I flew by the foot of it I shot out 
into the solid white fog, and hadn't no more idea which way I was going 
than a dead man. 

Thinks I, it won't do to paddle ; first I know I'll run into the bank or a 
tow-head or something ; I got to set still and float, and yet it's mighty fidgety 
business to have to hold your hands still at such a time. I whooped and 
listened. Away down there, somewheres, I hears a small whoop, and up 
comes my spirits. I went tearing after it, listening sharp to hear it again. 
The next time it come, I see I warn't heading for it but heading away to the right 
of it. And the next time, I was heading away to the left of it and not gaining 
on it much, either, for I was flying around, this way and that and 'tother, but it 
was going straight ahead all the time. 

I did wish the fool would think to beat a tin pan, and beat it all the time, 
but he never did, and it was the still places between the whoops that was making 
the trouble for me. Well, I fought along, and directly I hears the whoop 
behind me. I was tangled good, now. That was somebody else's whoop, or 
else I was turned around. 

I throwed the paddle down. I heard the whoop again ; it was behind me 
yet, but in a different place; it kept coming, and kept changing its place, and I 
kept answering, till by-and-by it was in front of me again and I knowed the cur- 
rent had swung the canoe's head down stream and I was all right, if that was Jim 
and not some other raftsman hollering. I couldn't tell nothing about voices in a 
fog, for nothing don't look natural nor sound natural in a fog. 

The whooping went on, and in about a minute I come a booming down on a 
cut bank with smoky ghosts of big trees on it, and the current throwed me off 
to the left and shot by, amongst a lot of snags that fairly roared, the current was 
tearing by them so swift. 

In another second or two it was solid white and still again. I set perfectly 
still, then, listening to my heart thump, and I reckon I didn't draw a breath 
while it thumped a hundred. 

I just give up, then. I knowed what the matter was. That cut bank was 
an island, and Jim had gone down 'tother side of it. It warn't no tow-head, that 



you could float by in ten minutes. It had the big timber of a regular island ; 
it might be five or six mile long and more than a half a mile wide. 

I kept quiet, with my ears cocked, about fifteen minutes, I reckon. I was 
floating along, of course, four or five mile an hour ; but you don't ever think of 
that. JSTo, you feel like you are laying dead still on the water; and if a little 
glimpse of a snag slips by, you don't think to yourself how fast you're going, but 
you catch your breath and think, my ! how that snag's tearing along. If you 


think it ain't dismal and lonesome out in a fog that way, by yourself, in the 
night, you try it once you'll see. 

Next, for about a half an hour, I whoops now and then; at last I hears the 
answer a long ways off, and tries to follow it, but I couldn't do it, and directly I 
judged I'd got into a nest of tow-heads, for I had little dim glimpses of them on 
both sides of me, sometimes just a narrow channel between ; and some that I 
couldn't see, I knowed was there, because I'd hear the wash of the current against 
the old dead brush and trash that hung over the banks. Well, I warn't long 
losing the whoops, down amongst the tow-heads ; and I only tried to chase them 



a little while, anyway, because it was worse than chasing a Jack-o-lantern. You 
never knowed a sound dodge around so, and swap places so quick and so much. 

I had to claw away from the bank pretty lively, four or five times, to keep 
from knocking the islands out of the river ; and so I judged the raft must be but- 
ting into the bank every now and then, or else it would get further ahead and 
clear out of hearing it was floating a little faster than what I was. 

Well, I seemed to be in the open river again, by-and-by, but I couldn't hear 
no sign of a whoop nowheres. I reckoned Jim had fetched up on a snag, maybe, 


and it was all up with him. I was good and tired, so I laid down in the canoe 
and said I wouldn't bother no more. I didn't want to go to sleep, of course ; but 
I was so sleepy I couldn't help it ; so I thought I would take just one little 

But I reckon it was more than a cat-nap, for when I waked up the stars was 
shining bright, the fog was all gone, and I was spinning down a big bend stern 
first. First I didn't know where I was ; I thought I was dreaming ; and when 
things begun to come back to me, they seemed to come up dim out of last 


It was a monstrous big river here, with the tallest and the thickest kind of 
timber on both banks ; just a solid wall, as well as I could see, by the stars. I 
looked away down stream, and seen a black speck on the water. I took out after 
it ; but when I got to it it warn't nothing but a couple of saw-logs made fast 
together. Then I see another speck, and chased that ; then another, and this 
time I was right. It was the raft. 

When I got to it Jim was setting there with his head down between his knees, 
asleep, with his right arm hanging over the steering oar. The other oar was 
smashed off, and the raft was littered up with leaves and branches and dirt. So 
she'd had a rough time. 

I made fast and laid down under Jim's nose on the raft, and begun to gap, 
and stretch my fists out against Jim, and says : 

" Hello, Jim, have I been asleep ? Why didn't you stir me up ? " 

" Goodness gracious, is dat you, Huck ? En you am' dead you ain' drownded 
you's back agin ? It's too good for true, honey, it's too good for true. Lemme 
look at you, chile, lemme feel o' you. "No, you ain' dead ! you's back agin,' live 
en soun', jis de same ole Huck de same ole Huck, thanks to goodness ! " 

'' What's the matter with you, Jim ? You been a drinking ?" 

" Drinkin' ? Has I ben a drinkin' ? Has I had a chance to be a drinkin' ?" 

" Well, then, what makes you talk so wild ? " 

< 'How does I talk wild?" 

" How f why, hain't you been talking about my coming back, and all that 
stuff, as if I'd been gone away ? " 

" Huck Huck Finn, you look me in de eye ; look me in de eye. Hain't you 
ben gone away?" 

" Gone away ? Why, what in the nation do you mean ? / hain't been gone 
anywheres. Wher.e would I go to ? " 

" Well, looky here, boss, dey's sumf'n wrong, dey is. Is I me, or who is I ? 
Is I heah, or whah is I ? Now dat's what I wants to know ? " 

"Well, I think you're here, plain enough, but I think you're a tangle-headed 
old fool, Jim." 

" I is, is I ? Well you answer me dis. Didn't you tote out de line in de 
canoe, fer to make fas' to de tow-head ? " 


" No, I didn't. What tow-head ? I hain't seen no tow-head." 

" You hain't seen no tow-head ? Looky here didn't de line pull loose en de 
raf go a hummin' down de river, en leave you en de canoe behine in de fog ? '' 

"What fog?" . 

"Why de fog. De fog dat's ben aroun' all night. En didn't you whoop, en 
didn't I whoop, tell we got mix' up in de islands en one un us got los' en 'tother 
one was jis' as good as los', 'kase he didn' know whah he wuz ? En didn't I bust 
up agin a lot er dem islands en have a turrible time en mos' git drownded ? Now 
ain' dat so, boss ain't it so ? You answer me dat." 

" Well, this is too many for me, Jim. I hain't seen no fog, nor no islands, 
nor no troubles, nor nothing. I been setting here talking with you all night till 
you went to sleep about ten minutes ago, and I reckon I done the same. You 
couldn't a got drunk in that time, so of course you've been dreaming." 

" Dad fetch it, how is I gwyne to dream all dat in ten minutes ?" 

"Well, hang it all, you did dream it, because there didn't any of it happen." 

" But Huck, it's all jis' as plain to me as " 

" It don't make no difference how plain it is, there ain't nothing in it. I 
know, because I've been here all the time." 

Jim didn't say nothing for about five minutes, but set there studying over it. 
Then he says : 

" Well, den, I reck'n I did dream it, Huck ; but dog my cats ef it ain't de 
powerfullest dream I ever see. En I hain't ever had no dream b'fo' dat's tired 
me like dis one." 

" Oh, well, that's all right, because a dream does tire a body like everything, 
sometimes. But this one was a staving dream tell me all about it, Jim." 

So Jim went to work and told me the whole thing right through, just as it 
happened, only he painted it up considerable. Then he said he must start in 
and " "terpret" it, because it was sent for a warning. He said the first tow-head 
stood for a man that would try to do us some good, but the current was another 
man that would get us away from him. The whoops was warnings that would 
come to us every now and then, and if we didn't try hard to make out to under- 
stand them they'd just take us into bad luck, 'stead of keeping us out of it. 
The lot of tow-heads was troubles we was going to get into with quarrelsome 


people and all kinds of mean folks, but if we minded our business and didn't 
talk back and aggravate them, we would pull through and get out of the fog and 
into the big clear river, which was the free States, and wouldn't have no more 

It had clouded up pretty dark just after I got onto the raft, but it was 
clearing up again, now. 

" Oh, well, that's all interpreted well enough, as far as it goes, Jim," I says ; 
" but what does these things stand for ? " 

It was the leaves and rubbish on the raft, and the smashed oar. You could 
see them first rate, now. 

Jim looked at the trash, and then looked at me, and back at the trash again. 
He had got the dream fixed so strong in his head that he couldn't seem to shake 
it loose and get the facts back into its place again, right away. But when he 
did get the thing straightened around, he looked at me steady, without ever 
smiling, and says : 

" What do dey stan' for ? I's gwyne to tell you. When I got all wore out 
wid work, en wid de callin' for you, en went to sleep, my heart wuz mos' broke 
bekase you wuz los', en I didn' k'yer no mo' what become er me en de raf. En 
when I wake up en fine you back agin', all safe en soun', de tears come en I 
could a got down on my knees en kiss' yo' foot I's so thankful. En all you wuz 
thinkin 'bout wuz how you could make a fool uv ole Jim wid a lie. Dat truck 
dah is trash ; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren's 
en makes 'em ashamed." 

Then he got up slow, and walked to the wigwam, and went in there, without 
saying anything but that. But that was enough. It made me feel so mean I 
could almost kissed his foot to get him to take it back. 

It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble 
myself to a nigger but I done it, and I warn't ever sorry for it afterwards, 
neither. I didn't do him no more mean tricks, and I wouldn't done that one if 
I'd a knowed it would make him feel that way. 

'. W E slept most all day, and started out at 
night, a little ways behind a mon- 
strous long raft that was as long 
going by as a procession. She had 
four long sweeps at each end,' so we 
judged she carried as many as thirty 
men, likely. She had five big wig- 
wams aboard, wide apart, and an open 
camp fire in the middle, and a tall 
flag-pole at each end. There was a 
power of style about her. It amounted 
to something being a raftsman on such 
a craft as that. 

We went drifting down into a big 
bend, and the night clouded up and 
got hot. The river was very wide, and 
Avas walled with solid timber on both 
sides ; you couldn't see a break in it 
hardly ever, or a light. We talked about Cairo, and wondered whether we would 
know it when we got to it. I said likely we wouldn't, because I had heard say 
there warn't but about a dozen houses there, and if they didn't happen to have 
them lit up, how was we going to know we was passing a town ? Jim said if the 
two big rivers joined together there, that would show. But I said maybe we 
might think we was passing the foot of an island and coming into the same old 
river again. That disturbed Jim and me too. So the question was, what to 
do ? I said, paddle ashore the first time a light showed, and tell them pap was 
behind, coming along with a trading-scow, and was a green hand at the business, 



and wanted to know how far it was to Cairo. Jim thought it was a good idea, 
so we took a smoke on it and waited. 

There warn't nothing to do, now, but to look out sharp for the town, and not 
pass it without seeing it. He said he'd be mighty sure to see it, because he'd be 
a free man the minute he seen it, but if he missed it he'd be in the slave country 
again and no more show for freedom. Every little while he jumps up and says : 

"Dah she is !" 

But it warn't. It was Jack-o-lanterns, or lightning-bugs ; so he set down 
again, and went to watching, same as before. Jim said it made him all over 
trembly and feverish to be so close to freedom. Well, I can tell you it made me 
all over' trembly and feverish, too, to hear him, because I begun to get it through 
my head that he was most free and who was to blame for it ? Why, me. I 
couldn't get that out of my conscience, no how nor no way. It got to troubling 
me so I couldn't rest ; I couldn't stay still in one place. It hadn't ever come 
home to me before, what this thing was that I was doing. But now it did ; and 
it staid with me. and scorched me more and more. I tried to make out to 
myself that / warn't to blame, because / didn't run Jim off from his rightful 
owner; but it warn't no use, conscience up and says, every time, "But you 
knowed he was running for his freedom, and you could a paddled ashore and told 
somebody." That was so I couldn't get around that, noway. That was where 
it pinched. Conscience says to me, "What had poor Miss Watson done to you, 
that you could see her nigger go off right under your eyes and never say one 
single word ? What did that poor old woman do to you, that you could treat 
her so mean ? Why, she tried to learn you your book, she tried to learn you 
your manners, she tried to be good to you every way she knowed how. TJiafs 
what she done." 

I got to feeling so mean and so miserable I most wished I was dead. I 
fidgeted up and down the raft, abusing myself to myself, and Jim was fidgeting 
up and down past me. We neither of us could keep still. Every time he danced 
around and says, " Dah's Cairo ! " it went through me like a shot, and I thought 
if it was Cairo I reckoned I would die of miserableness. 

Jim talked out loud all the time while I was talking to myself. He was saying 
how the first thing he would do when he got to a free State he would go to 


saving up money and never spend a single cent, and when he got enough he 
would buy his wife, which was owned on a farm close to where Miss Watson 
lived ; and then they would both work to buy the two children, and if their 
master wouldn't sell them, they'd get an Ab'litionist to go and steal them. 

It most froze me to hear such talk. He wouldn't ever dared to talk such talk 
in his life before. Just see what a difference it made in him the minute he judged 
he was about free. It was according to the old saying, " give a nigger an inch and j 
he'll take an ell." Thinks I, this is what comes of my not thinking. Here was this 
nigger which I had as good as helped to run away, coming right out flat-footed 
and saying he would steal his children children that belonged to a man I didn't 
even know ; a man that hadn't ever done me no harm. 

I was sorry to hear Jim say that, it was such a lowering of him. My 
conscience got to stirring me up hotter than ever, until at last I says to it, " Let 
up on me it ain't too late, yet I'll paddle ashore at the first light, and tell." I 
felt easy, and happy, and light as a feather, right off. All my troubles was gone. 
I went to looking out sharp for a light, and sort of singing to myself. By-and- 
by one showed. Jim sings out : 

" We's safe, Huck, we's safe ! Jump up and crack yo' heels, dat's de good 
ole Cairo at las', I jis knows it ! " 

I says : 

" I'll take the canoe and go see, Jim. It mightn't be, you know. " 

He jumped and got the canoe ready, and put his old coat in the bottom for 
me to set on, and give me the paddle ; and as I shoved off, he says : 

" Pooty soon I'll be a-shout'n for joy, en 111 say, it's all on accounts o' Huck ; 
Ps a free man, en I couldn't ever ben free ef it hadn' ben for Huck ; Huck done 
it. Jim won't ever forgit you, Huck ; you's de bes' fren' Jim's ever had ; en 
you's de only fren' ole Jim's got now." 

I was paddling off, all in a sweat to tell on him; but when he says this, it 
seemed to kind of take the tuck all out of me. I went along slow then, and I 
warn't right down certain whether I was glad I started or whether I warn't. When 
I was fifty yards off, Jim says : 

" Dah you goes, de ole true Huck ; de on'y white genlman dat ever kep' his 
promise to ole Jim." 


Well, I just felt sick. But I says, I got to do it I can't get out of it. Right 
then, along comes a skiff with two men in it, with guns, and they stopped and I 
stopped. One of them says : 

" What's that, yonder ? " 

"A piece of a raft," I says. 

"Do you belong on it ?" 

"Yes, sir." 

" Any men on it ?" 

" Only one, sir." 

"Well, there's five niggers run off to-night, up yonder above the head of 
the bend. Is your man white or black ?" 

I didn't answer up prompt. I tried to, but the words wouldn't come. 
I tried, for a second or two, to brace up and out with it, but I warn't man 
enough hadn't the spunk of a rabbit. I see I was weakening ; so I just give up 
trying, and up and says 

" He's white." 

" I reckon we'll go and see for ourselves." 

" I wish you would, " says I, il because it's pap that's there, and maybe you'd 
help me tow the raft ashore where the light is. He's sick and so is mam and 
Mary Ann." 

" Oh, the devil ! we're in a hurry, boy. But I s'pose we've got to. Come 
buckle to your paddle, and let's get along." 

I buckled to my paddle and they laid to their oars. When we had made a 
stroke or two, I says : 

" Pap'll be mighty much obleegei to you, I can tell you. Everybody goes away 
when I want them to help me tow the raft ashore, and I can't do it by myself." 

" Well, that's infernal mean. Odd, too. Say, boy, what's the matter with 
your father ? " 

"It's the a the well, it ain't anything, much." 

They stopped pulling. It warn't but a mighty little ways to the raft, now. 
One says : 

" Boy, that's a lie. What is the matter with your pap ? Answer up square, 
now, and it'll be the better for you.'' 



' I will, sir, I will, honest but don't leave us, please. It's the the gentle- 
men, if you'll only pull ahead, and let me heave you the head-line, you won't 
have to come a-near the raft please do." 

" Set her back, John, set her back ! " says one. They backed water. 
"Keep away, boy keep to looard. Confound it, I just expect the wind has 
Mowed it to us. Your pap's got the small-pox, and you know it precious well. 
Why didn't you come out and say so ? Do you want to spread it all over ? " 

"EOT, THAfS A LfE." 

"Well," says I, a-blubbering, "I've told everybody before, and then they 
just went away and left us." 

" Poor devil, there's something in that. We are right down sorry for you, 
but we well, hang it, we don't want the small-pox, you see. Look here, I'll 
tell you what to do. Don't you try to land by yourself, or you'll smash every- 
thing to pieces. You float along down about twenty miles and you'll come to a 
town on the left-hand side of the river. It will be long after sun-up, then, and 
when you ask for help, you tell them your folks are all down with chills and 
fever. Don't be a fool again, and let people guess what is the matter. Now we're 
trying to do you a kindness ; so you just put twenty miles between us, that's a 



good boy. It wouldn't do any good to land yonder where the light is-it's only 
a wood-yard. Say-I reckon your father's poor, and I'm bound to say he's ii 
pretty hard luck. Here-I'll put a twenty dollar gold piece on this board and 
you get it when it floats by. I feel mighty mean to leave you, but my 
kingdom ! it won't do to fool with small-pox, don't you see ?" 

" Hold on, Parker," says the other man, < here's a twenty to put on the board 
for me. Good-bye, boy, you do as Mr. Parker told you, and you'll be all right." 

" That's so, my boy good-bye, good-bye. If you see any runaway niggers, 
you get help and nab them, and you can make some money by it." 

" Good-bye, sir," says I, "I won't let no runaway niggers get by me if I can 
help it." 

They went off, and I got aboard the raft, feeling bad and low, because I 
knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it warn't no use for me to try 
to learn to do right ; a body that don't get started right when he's little, ain't 


got no show when the pinch comes there ain't nothing to back him up and keep 
him to his work, and so he gets beat. Then I thought a minute, and says to 
myself, hold on, s pose you'd a done right and give Jim up ; would you felt 
better than what you do now ? No, says I, I'd feel bad I'd feel just the same 
way I do now. Well, then, says I, what's the use you learning to do right, when 
it's troublesome to do right and ain't no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is 
just the same? I was stuck. I couldn't answer that. So I reckoned I wouldn't 
bother no more about it, but after this always do whichever come handiest at 
the time. 

I went into the wigwam ; Jim warn't there. I looked all around ; he 
warn't anywhere. I says : 


*' Here I is, Huck. Is dey out o' sight yit ? Don't talk loud." 

He was in the river, under the stern oar, with just his nose out. I told him 
they was out of sight, so he come aboard. He says : 

" I was a-listenin' to all de talk, en I slips into de river en was gwyne to 
shove for sho' if dey come aboard. Den I was gwyne to swim to de raf agin 
when dey was gone. But lawsy, how you did fool 'em, Huck ! Dat wuz de 
smartes' dodge ! I tell you, chile, I 'speck it save' ole Jim ole Jim ain't gwyne 
to forgit you for dat, honey." 

Then we talked about the money. It was a pretty good raise, twenty dollars 
apiece. Jim said we could take deck passage on a steamboat now, and the 
money would last us as far as we wanted to go in the free States. He said twenty 
mile more warn't far for the raft to go, but he wished we was already there. 

Towards daybreak we tied up, and Jim was mighty particular about hiding 
the raft good. Then he worked all day fixing things in bundles, and getting all 
ready to quit rafting. 

That night about ten we hove in sight of the lights of a town away down 
in a left-hand bend. 

I went off in the canoe, to ask about it. Pretty soon I found a man out in 
the river with a skiff, setting a trot-line. I ranged up and says : 
"Mister, is that town Cairo-? " 
" Cairo ? no. You roust be a blame' fool," 


'- What town is it, mister ?" 

" If you want to know, go and find out. If you stay here botherin' around 
me for about a half a minute longer, you'll get something you won't want." 

I paddled to the raft. Jim was awful disappointed, but I said never mind, 
Cairo would be the next place, I reckoned. 

We passed another town before daylight, and I was going out again ; but it 
was high ground, so I didn't go. No high ground about Cairo, Jim said. I had 
forgot it. We laid up for the day, on a tow-head tolerable close to the left-hand 
bank. I begun to suspicion something. So did Jim. I says : 

" Maybe we went by Cairo in the fog that night." 

He says : 

" Doan' less' talk about it, Huck. Po' niggers can't have no luck. I aAvluz 
'spected dat rattle-snake skin warn't done wid it's work." 

" I wish I'd never seen that snake-skin, Jim I do wish I'd never laid eyes 
on it." 

" It ain't yo' fault, Huck ; you didn' know. Don't you blame yo'self 
'bout it." 

When it was daylight, here was the clear Ohio water in shore, sure 
enough, and outside was the old regular Muddy ! So it was all up with Cairo. 
< AVe talked it all over. It wouldn't do to take to the shore ; we couldn't take 
the raft up the stream, of course. There warn't no way but to wait for dark, 
and start back in the canoe and take the chances. So we slept all day amongst 
the cotton-wood thicket, so as to be fresh for the work, and when we went back 
to the raft about dark the canoe was gone ! 

AA"e didn't say a word for a good while. There warn't anything to say. We 
both knowed well enough it was some more work of the rattle-snake skin ; so 
what was the use to talk about it ? It would only look like we was finding fault, 
and that would be bound to fetch more bad luck and keep on fetching it, too, 
till we knowed enough to keep still. 

By-and-by we talked about what we better do, and found there warn't no way 
but just to go along down with the raft till we got a chanae to buy a canoe to go 
back in. AVe warn't going to borrow it when there warn't anybody around, the 
way pap would do, for that might set people after us. 


So we shoved out, after dark, on the raft. 

Anybody that don't believe yet, that it's foolishness to handle a snake-skin, 
after all that that snake-skin done for us, will believe it now, if they read on and 
see what more it done for us. 

The place to buy canoes is off of rafts laying up at shore. But we didn't see 
no rafts laying up ; so we went along during three hours and more. Well, the 
. night got gray, and ruther thick, which is the next meanest thing to fog. You 
can't tell the shape of the river, and you can't see no distance. It got to be very 
late and still, and then along comes a steamboat up the river. We lit the lan- 
tern, and judged she would see it. Up-stream boats didn't generly come close to 
us ; they go out and follow the bars and hunt for easy water under the reefs; but 
nights like this they bull right up the channel against the whole river. 

We could hear her pounding along, but we didn't see her good till she was 
close. She aimed right for us. Often they do that and try to see how close they 
can come without touching ; sometimes the wheel bites off a sweep, and then the 
pilot sticks his head out and laughs, and thinks he's mighty smart. Well, here 
she comes, and we said she was going to try to shave us ; but she didn't seem to 
be sheering off a bit. She was a big one, and she was coming in a hurry, too, 
looking like a black cloud with rows of glow-worms around it ; but all of a 
sudden she bulged out, big and scary, with a long row of wide-open furnace doors 
shining like red-hot teeth, and her monstrous bows and guards hanging right 
over us. There was a yell at us, and a jingling of bells to stop the engines, a 
pow-wow of cussing, and whistling of steam and as Jim went overboard on one 
side and I on the other, she come smashing straight through the raft. 

I dived -and I aimed to find the bottom, too, for a thirty-foot wheel had got 
to go over me, and I wanted it to have plenty of room. I could always stay 
under water a minute ; this time I reckon I staid under water a minute and a 
half. Then I bounced for the top in a hurry, for I was nearly busting. I popped 
out to my arm-pits and blowed the water out of my nose, and puffed a bit. Of 
course there was a booming current ; and of course that boat started her engines 
again ten seconds after she stopped them, for they never cared much for rafts^ 
men ; so now she was churning along up the river, out of sight in the thick 
weather, though I could hear her. 



I sung out for Jim about a dozen times, but I didn't get any answer ; so I 
grabbed a plauk that touched me while 1 was " treading water," and struck out 
for shore, shoving it ahead of me. But I made out to see that the drift of the 
current was towards the left-hand shore, which meant that I was in a crossing ; 
so I changed off and went that way. 

It was one of these long, slanting, two-mile crossings ; so I was a good long 
time in getting over. I made a safe landing, and clum up the bank. I couldn't 
see but a little ways, but I went poking along over rough ground for a quarter of 
a mile or more, and then I run across a big old-fashioned double log house before 
I noticed it. I was going to rush by and get away, but a lot of dogs jumped out 
and went to howling and barking at. me, and I knowed better than to move 
another peg. 


ABOUT half a minute somebody spoke 
out of a window, without putting his 
head out, and says : 
." Be done, boys ! Who's there ? " 
I says : 
"It's me." 
"Who's me?" 
" George Jackson, sir." 
" What do you want ? " 
" I don't want nothing, sir. I only 
want to go along by, but the dogs won't 
let me." 

"What are you prowling around here 
this time of night, for hey ? " 

" I warn't prowling around, sir ; I fell 
overboard off of the steamboat." 

" Oh, you did, did you ? Strike a 

light there, somebody. What did you say your name was ? " 
" George Jackson, sir. I'm only a boy." 

" Look here ; if you're telling the truth, you needn't be afraid nobody '11 
hurt you. But don't try to budge ; stand right where you are. House out Bob 
and Tom, some of you, and fetch the guns. George Jackson, is there anybody 
with you ? " 

" No, sir, nobody." 

I heard the people stirring around in the house, now, and see a light. The 
man sung out : 



" Snatch that light away, Betsy, you old fool ain't you got any sense ? Put 
it on the floor behind the front door. Bob, if you and Tom are ready, take your 

"All ready." 

" Now, George Jackson, do you know the Shepherdsons ? " 

"No, sir I never heard of them." 

" Well, that may be so, and it mayn't. Now, all ready. Step forward, 
George Jackson. And mind, don't you hurry come mighty slow. If there's 
anybody with you, let him keep back if he shows himself he'll be shot. Come 
along, now. Come slow ; push the door open, yourself just enough to squeeze 
in, d' you hear ? " 

I didn't hurry, I couldn't if I'd a wanted to. I took one slow step at a time, 
and there warn't a sound, only I thought I could hear my heart. The dogs were 
as still as the humans, but they followed a little behind me. When I got to the 
three log door-steps, I heard them unlocking and unbarring and unbolting. I 
put my hand on the door and pushed it a little and a little more, till somebody 
said, " There, that's enough put your head in." I done it, but I judged they 
would take it off. 

The candle was on the floor, and there they all was, looking at me, and me at 
them, for about a quarter of a minute. Three big men with guns pointed at me v 
which made me wince, I tell you ; the oldest, gray and about sixty, the other two 
thirty or more all of them fine and handsome and the sweetest old gray-headed 
lady, and back of her two young women which I couldn't see right well. The 
old gentleman says : 

" There I reckon it's all right. Come in." 

As soon as I was in, the old gentleman he locked the door and barred it and 
bolted it, and told the young men to come in with their guns, and they all went 
in a big parlor that had a new rag carpet on the floor, and got together in a 
corner that was out of range of the front windows there warn't none on the 
side. They held the candle, and took a good look at me, and all said, "Why he 
ain't a Shepherdson no, there ain't any Shepherdson about him." Then the 
old man said he hoped I wouldn't mind being searched for arms, because he 
didn't mean no harm by it it was only to make sure. So he didn't pry 


into my pockets, but only felt outside with his hands, and said it was all right. 
He told me to make myself easy and at home, and tell all about myself ; but the 
old lady says : 

" Why bless you, Saul, the poor thing's as wet as lie can be ; and don't 
you reckon it may be he's hungry ? " 
"True for you, Rachel I forgot." 
So the old lady says : 

"Betsy" (this was a nigger woman), "you fly around and get him something 
to eat, as quick as you can, poor thing; and one of you girls go and wake up 
Buck and tell him Oh, here he is himself. Buck, take this little stranger and 
get the wet clothes off from him and dress him up in some of yours that's dry." 

Buck looked about as old as me 
thirteen or fourteen or along there, 
though he was a little bigger than me. 
He hadn't on anything but a shirt, 
and he was very frowsy-headed. He 
come in gaping and digging one fist 
into his eyes, and he was dragging a 
gun along with the other one. He 
says : 

" Ain't they no Shepherd sons 
around ? " 

They said, no, 'twas a false alarm. 
"Well," he says, "if they'd a ben 
some, I reckon I'd a got one. " 

They all laughed, and Bob says : 
"Why, Buck, they might have 
scalped us all, you've been so slow in 

"Well, nobody come after me, and 
it ain't right. I'm always kep' down ; 
I don't get no show." 

<: Never mind, Buck, my boy," says the old man, "you'll have show enough, 


all in good time, don't you fret about that. Go 'long with you now, and do 
us your mother told you." 

When we got up stairs to his room, he got me a coarse shirt and a round- 
about and pants of his, and I put them on. While I was at it he asked me what 
my name was, but before I could tell him, he started to telling me about a blue 
jay and a young rabbit he had catched in the woods day before yesterday, and he 
asked me where Moses was when the candle went out. I said I didn't know ; I 
hadn't heard about it before, no way. 

" Well, guess," he says. 

" How'm I going to guess," says I, "when I never heard tell about it 
before ? " 

" But you can guess, can't you ? It's just as easy." 

" Which candle ? " I says. 

" Why, any candle," he says. 

"I don't know where he was," says I; " where was he ?" 

"Why he was in the dark! That's where he was !" 

" Well, if you knowed where he was, what did you ask me for ?" 

" Why, blame it, it's a riddle, don't you see ? Say, how long are you going to 
stay here ? You got to stay always. We can just have booming times they 
don't have no school now. Do you own a dog ? I've got a dog and he'll go in 
the river and bring out chips that you throw in. Do you like to comb up, 
Sundays, and all that kind of foolishness ? You bet I don't, but ma she makes 
me. Confound these ole britches, I reckon I'd better put 'em on, but I'd ruther 
not, it's so warm. Are you all ready ? All right come along, old hoss." 

Cold corn-pone, cold corn-beef, butter and butter-milk that is what they 
had for me down there, and there ain't nothing better that ever I've come across 
yet. Buck and his ma and all of them smoked cob pipes, except the nigger 
woman, which was gone, and the two young women. They all smoked and 
talked, and I eat and talked. The young women had quilts around them, 
and their hair down their backs. They all asked me questions, and I told 
them how pap and me and all the family was living on a little farm down at 
the bottom of Arkansaw, and my sister Mary Ann run off and got married and 
never was heard of no more, and Bill went to hunt them and he warn't heard of 


no more, and Tom and Mort died, and then there warn't nobody but just me and 
pap left, and he was just trimmed down to nothing, on account of his troubles ; 
so when he died I took what there was left, because the farm didn't belong to us, 
and started up the river, deck passage, and fell overboard ; and that was how I 
come to be here. So they said I could have a home there as long as I wanted it. 
Then it was most daylight, and everybody went to bed, and I went to bed with 
Buck, and when I waked up in the morning, drat it all, I had forgot what my 
name was. So I laid there about an hour trying to think, and when Buck 
waked up, I says : 

" Can you spell, Buck ? " 

"Yes," he says. 

" I bet you can't spell my name," says I. 

" I bet you what you dare I can," says he. 

"All right," says I, "go ahead." 

" G-o-r-g-e J-a-x-o-n there now," he says. 

"Well," says I, "you done it, but I didn't think you could. It ain't no 
slouch of a name to spell right off without studying." 

I set it down, private, because somebody might want me to spell it, next, and 
so I wanted to be handy with it and rattle it off like I was used to it. 

It was a mighty nice family, and a mighty nice house, too. I hadn't seen no 
house out in the country before that was so nice and had so much style. It didn't 
have an iron latch on the front door, nor a wooden one with a buckskin string, 
but a brass knob to turn, the same as houses in a town. There warn't no bed 
in the parlor, not a sign of a bed ; but heaps of parlors in towns has beds in 
them. There was a big fireplace that was bricked on the bottom, and the bricks 
was kept clean and red by pouring water on them and scrubbing them with 
another brick ; sometimes they washed them over with red water-paint that they 
call Spanish-brown, same as they do in town. They had big brass dog-irons that 
could hold up a saw-log. There was a clock on the middle of the mantel-piece, 
with a picture of a town painted on the bottom half of the glass front, and a 
round place in the middle of it for the sun, and you could see the pendulum 
swing behind it. It was beautiful to hear that clock tick ; and sometimes when 
one of these peddlers had been along and scoured her up and got her in good 


shape, she would siart in and strike a hundred and fifty before she got tuck- 
ered out. They wouldn't took any money for her. 

Well, there was a big outlandish parrot on each side of the clock, made out of 
something like chalk, and painted up gaudy. By one of the parrots was a cat 
made of crockery, and a crockery dog by the other ; and when you pressed down 
on them they squeaked, but didn't open their mouths nor look different nor 
interested. They squeaked through underneath. There was a couple of big 
wild-turkey-wing fans spread out behind those things. On a table in the middle 
of the room was a kind of a lovely crockery basket that had apples and oranges 
and peaches and grapes piled up in it which was much redder and yellower and 
prettier than real ones is, but they warn't real because you could see where pieces 
had got chipped off and showed the white chalk or whatever it was, underneath. 

This table had a cover made out of beautiful oil-cloth, with a red and blue 
spread-eagle painted on it, and a painted border all around. It come all the way 
from Philadelphia, they said. There was some books too, piled up perfectly 
exact, on each corner of the table. One was a big family Bible, full of pictures. 
One was " Pilgrim's Progress, "about a man that left his family it didn't say why. 
I read considerable in it now and then. The statements was interesting, but 
tough. Another was " Friendship's Offering," full of beautiful stuff and poetry ; 
but I didn't read the poetry. Another was Henry Clay's Speeches, and another 
was Dr. Gunn's Family Medicine, which told you all about what to do if a body 
was sick or dead. There was a Hymn Book, and a lot of other books. And 
there was nice split-bottom chairs, and perfectly sound, too not bagged down in 
the middle and busted, like an old basket. 

They had pictures hung on the walls mainly Washingtons and Lafayettes, 
and battles, and Highland Marys, and one called " Signing the Declaration." There 
was some that they called crayons, which one of the daughters which was dead 
made her own self when she was only fifteen years old. They was different from 
any pictures I ever see before ; blacker, mostly, than is common. One was a 
woman in a slim black dress, belted small under the arm-pits, with bulges like a 
cabbage in the middle of the sleeves, and a large black scoop-shovel bonnet with 
a black veil, and white slim ankles crossed about with black tape, and very wee 
black slippers, like a chisel, and she was leaning pensive on a tombstone on her 



right elbow, under a weeping willow, and her other hand hanging down her side 
holding a white handkerchief and a reticule, and underneath the picture it said 
"Shall I Never See Thee More Alas." Another one was a young lady with her 
hair all combed up straight to the top of her head, and knotted there in front of 
a comb like a chair-back, and she was crying into a handkerchief and had a dead 
bird laying on its back in her other hand with its heels up, and underneath the 
picture it said "I Shall Never Hear Thy Sweet Chirrup More Alas." There was 
one where a young lady was at a window looking up at the moon, and tears 
running down her cheeks ; and she had an open letter in one hand with black 

sealing-wax showing on one edge of 
it, and she was mashing a locket 
with a chain to it against her mouth, 
and underneath the picture it said 
"And Art Thou Gone Yes Thou 
Art Gone Alas." These was all 
nice pictures, I reckon, but I didn't 
somehow seem to take to them, be- 
cause if ever I was down a little, 
they always give me the fan-tods. 
Everybody was sorry she died, be- 
cause she had laid out a lot more of 
these pictures to do, and a body 
could see by what she had done what 
they had lost. But I reckoned, 
that with her disposition, she was 
having a better time in the grave- 
yard. She was at work on what 
they said was her greatest picture 
when she took sick, and every day 
and every night it was her prayer to 

be allowed to live till she got it done, but she never got the chance. It was a 
picture of a young woman in a long white gown, standing on the rail of a bridge 
all ready to jump off, with her hair all down her back, and looking up to the 



moon, with the tears running down her face, and she had two arms folded 
across her breast, and two arms stretched out in front, and two more reaching 
up towards the moon and the idea was, to see which pair would look best and 
then scratch out all the other arms ; but, as I was saying, she died before she 
got her mind made up, and now they kept this picture over the head of the 
bed in her room, and every time her birthday come they hung flowers on it. 
Other times it was hid with a little curtain. The young woman in the picture 
had a kind of a nice sweet face, but there was so many arms it made her look 
too spidery, seemed to me. 

This young girl kept a scrap-book when she was alive, and used to paste 
obituaries and accidents and cases of patient suffering in it out of the Pres- 
byterian Observer, and write poetry after them out of her own head. It was 
very good poetry. This is what she wrote about a boy by the name of Stephen 
Dowling Bots that fell down a well and was drownded : 


And did young Stephen sicken, 
And did young Stephen die ? 

And did the sad hearts thicken, 
And did the mourners cry ? 

No ; such was not the fate of 
Young Stephen Dowling Bots ; 

Though sad hearts round him thicVened, 
'Twas not from sickness' shots. 

No whooping-cough did rack his frame, 

Nor measles drear, with spots ; 
Not these impaired the sacred name 
Of Stephen Dowling Bots. 



Despised love struck not with woe 

That head of curly knots, 
Nor stomach troubles laid him low, 

Young Stephen Dowling Bots. 

no. Then list with tearful eye, 

Whilst I his fate do tell. 
His soul did from this cold world fly, 

By falling down a well. 

They got him out and emptied him ; 

Alas it was too late ; 
His spirit was gone for to sport aloft 

In the realms of the good and great. 



If Emmeline Graugerford could make poetry like that before she was fourteen, 
there ain't no telling what she could a done by-and-by. Buck said she 
could rattle off poetry like nothing. She didn't ever have to stop to think. 
He said she would slap down a line, and if she couldn't find anything to 
rhyme with it she would just scratch it out and slap down another one, 
and go ahead. She warn't particular, she could write about anything you 
choose to give her to write about, just so it was sadful. Every time a man 
died, or a woman died, or a child died, she would be on hand with her 
" tribute " before he was cold. She called them tributes. The neighbors 
said it was the doctor first, then Emmeline, then the undertaker the under- 
taker never got in ahead of Emmeline but once, and then she hung fire on a 
rhyme for the dead person's name, which was Whistler. She warn't ever 
the same, after that ; she never complained, but she kind of pined away 
and did not live long. Poor thing, many's the time I made myself go up 
to the little room that used to be hers and get out her poor old scrap- 
book and read in it when her pictures had been aggravating me and I 
had soured on her a little. I liked all that family, dead ones and all, and 
warn't going to let anything come between us. Poor Emmeline made poetry 
about all the dead people when she was alive, and it didn't seem right that 
there warn't nobody to make some about her, now she was gone; so I tried 
to sweat out a verse or two myself, but I couldn't seem to make it go, 
somehow. They kept Emmeline's room trim and nice and all the things fixed 
in it just the way she liked to have them when she was alive, and nobody 
ever slept there. The old lady took care of the room herself, though there 
was plenty of niggers, and she sewed there a good deal and read her Bible 
there, mostly. 

Well, as I was saying about the parlor, there was beautiful curtains on 
the windows : white, with pictures painted on them, of castles with vines all 
down the walls, and cattle coming down to drink. There was a little old 
piano, too, that had tin pans in it, I reckon, and nothing was ever so lovely as 
to hear the young ladies sing, "The Last Link is Broken " and play "The Battle 
of Prague" on it. The walls of all the rooms was plastered, and most had 
carpets on the floors, and the whole house was whitewashed on the outside. 



It was a double house, and the big open place betwixt them was roofed 
and floored, and sometimes the table was set there in the middle of the 
day, and it was a cool, comfortable place. Nothing couldn't be better. And 
warn't the cooking good, and just bushels of it too ! 

G RANGERFORD was a gentleman, you 
see. He was a gentleman all over; 
and so was his family. He was well 
born, as the saying is, and that's worth 
as much in a man as it is in a horse, 
so the Widow Douglass said, and no- 
oody ever denied that she was of the 
first aristocracy in our town ; and 
pap he always said it, too, though he 
warn't no more quality than a mud- 
cat, himself. Col. Grangerford was 
very tall and very slim, and had a 
darkish-paly complexion, not a sign of 
red in it anywheres ; he was clean- 
shaved every morning, all over his 
thin face, and he had the thinnest 
kind of lips, and the thinnest kind of 
nostrils, and a high nose, and heavy eyebrows, and the blackest kind of eyes, 
sunk so deep back that they seemed like they was looking out of caverns at you, 
as you may say. His forehead was high, and his hair was black and straight, 
and hung to his shoulders. His hands was long and thin, and every day of 
his life he put on a clean shirt and a full suit from head to foot made out of 
linen so white it hurt your eyes to look at it ; and on Sundays he wore a blue 
tail-coat with brass buttons on it. He carried a mahogany cane with a silver 



head to it. There warn't no frivolishness about him, not a bit, and he warn't 
ever loud. He was as kind as he could be you could feel that, you know, and 
so you had confidence. Sometimes he smiled, and it was good to see ; but when 
he straightened himself up like a liberty-pole, and the lightning begun to flicker 
out from under his eyebrows you wanted to climb a tree first, and find out what 
the matter was afterwards. He didn't ever have to tell anybody to mind their 
manners everybody was always good mannered where he was, Everybody 
loved to have him around, too ; he was sunshine most always I mean he made 
it seem like good weather. When he turned into a cloud-bank it was awful 
dark for a half a minute and that was enough ; there wouldn't nothing go wrong 
again for a week. 

When him and the old lady come down in the morning, all the family got up 
out of their chairs and give them good-day, and didn't set down again till they 
had set down. Then Tom and Bob went to the sideboard where the decanters 
was, and mixed a glass of bitters and handed it to him, and he held it in his 
hand and waited till Tom's and Bob's was mixed, and then they bowed and said 
" Our duty to you, sir, and madam ; " and they bowed the least bit in the world 
and said thank you, and so they drank, all three, and Bob and Tom poured a 
spoonful of water on the sugar and the mite of whisky or apple brandy in the 
bottom of their tumblers, and give it to me and Buck, and we drank to the old 
people too. 

Bob was the oldest, and Tom next. Tall, beautiful men with very broad 
shoulders and brown faces, and long black hair and black eyes. They dressed 
in white linen from head to foot, like the old gentleman, and wore broad 
Panama hats. 

Then there was Miss Charlotte, she was twenty-five, and tall and proud and 
grand, but as good as she could be, when she warn't stirred up ; but when she 
was, she had a look that would make you wilt in your tracks, like her father. 
She was beautiful. 

So was her sister, Miss Sophia, but it was a different kind. She was gentle 
and sweet, like a dove, and she was only twenty 

Each person had their own nigger to wait on them Buck, too. My nigger 



had a monstrous easy time, because I wam't used to having anybody do anything 
for me, but Buck's was on the jump most of the time. 

This was all there was of the family, now ; but there used to be more three 
sons ; they got killed ; and Emmeline that died. 

The old gentleman owned a lot of farms, and over a hundred niggers. 
Sometimes a stack of people would come there, horseback, from ten or fifteen 
mile around, and stay five or six days, and have such junketings round about and 
on the river, and dances and picnics in the woods, day-times, and balls at the 
house, nights. These people was 
mostly kin-folks of the family. 
The men brought their guns 
with them. It was a handsome 
lot of quality, I tell you. 

There was another clan of 
aristocracy around there five 
or six families mostly of the 
name of Shepherdson. They 
was as high-toned, and well 
born, and rich and grand, as the 
tribe of Grangerfords. The 
Shepherdsons and the Granger- 
fords used the same steamboat 
landing, which was about two 
mile above our house ; so some- 
times when I went up there 
with a lot of our folks I used to 
see a lot of the Shepherdsons 
there, on their fine horses. 

One day Buck and me was 
away out in the woods, hunt- 
ing, and heard a horse coming. We was crossing the road. 
" Quick ! Jump for the woods ! " 


Buck says : 



We done it, and then peeped down the woods through the leaves. 
Pretty soon a splendid young man come galloping down the road, setting his 
horse easy and looking like a soldier. He had his gun across his pommel. I 
had seen him before. It was young Harney Shepherdson. I heard Buck's gun 
go off at my ear, and Harney's hat tumbled off from his head. He grabbed 
his gun and rode straight to the place where we was hid. But we didn't 
wait. We started through the woods on a run. The woods warn't thick, BO 
I looked over my shoulder, to dodge the bullet, and twice I seen Harney cover 
Buck with his gun ; and then he rode away the way he come to get his hat, I 
reckon, but I couldn't see. We never stopped running till we got home. The 
old gentleman's eyes blazed a minute 'twas pleasure, mainly, I judged then 

his face sort of smoothed down, and he 
says, kind of gentle : 

" I don't like that shooting from be- 
hind a bush. Why didn't you step into 
the road, my boy ? " 

"The Shepherdsons don't, father. 
They always take advantage." 

Miss Charlotte she held her head up 
like a queen while Buck was telling 
his tale, and her nostrils spread and her 
eyes snapped. The two young men 
looked dark, but never said nothing. 
Miss Sophia she turned pale, but the 
color come back when she found the 
man warn't hurt. 

Soon as I could get Buck down by 
^ ^ the corn-cribs under the trees by our- 
selves, I says : 

"Did you want to kill him, Buck ?" 


"Well, I bet I did." 

" What did he do to you ?' 

FEUDS. 147 

"Him ? He never done nothing to me." 

" Well, then, what did you want to kill him for ? " 

" Why nothing only it's on account of the feud." 

"What's a feud?" 

" Why, where was you raised ? Don't you know what a feud is ? " 

" Never heard of it before tell me about it." 

" Well," says Buck, " a feud is this way. A man has a quarrel with another 
man, and kills him ; then that other man's brother kills him; then the other 
brothers, on both sides, goes for one another ; then the cousins chip in and by- 
and-by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of 
slow, and takes a long time." 

" Has this one been going on long, Buck ? " 

" Well I should reckon ! it started thirty year ago, or som'ers along there. 
There was trouble 'bout something and then a lawsuit to settle it ; and the suit 
went agin one of the men, and so he up and shot the man that won the suit 
which he would naturally do, of course. Anybody would." 

"What was the trouble about, Buck? land ?" 

"I reckon maybe I don't know." 

" Well, who done the shooting ? was it a Grangerford or a Shepherd- 
son ? " 

" Laws, how do / know ? it was so long ago." 

"Don't anybody know ?" 

" Oh, yes, pa knows, I reckon, and some of the other old folks ; but they 
don't know, now, what the row was about in the first place. " 

" Has there been many killed, Buck ? " 

" Yes right smart chance of funerals. But they don't always kill. Pa's 
got a few buck-shot in him ; but he don't mind it 'cuz he don't weigh much 
anyway. Bob's been carved up some with a bowie, and Tom's been hurt once or 

" Has anybody been killed this year, Buck ? " 

" Yes, we got one and they got one. 'Bout three months ago, my cousin 
Bud, fourteen year old, was riding through the woods, on t'other side of the river. 


and didn't have no weapon with him, which was blame' foolishness, and in a lone- 
some place he hears a horse a-coming behind him, and sees old Baldy Shepherd- 
son a-liukiu' after him with his gun in his hand and his white hair a-flying in the 
wind ; and 'stead of jumping off and taking to the brush, Bud 'lowed he could 
outrun him ; so they had it, nip and tuck, for five mile or more, the old man 
a-gaining all the time ; so at last Bud seen it warn't any use, so he stopped and 
faced around so as to have the bullet holes in front, you know, and the old man 
he rode up and shot him down. But he didn't git much chance to enjoy his 
luck, for inside of a week our folks laid Mm out." 

" I reckon that old man was a coward, Buck." 

" I reckon he warn't a coward. Not by a blame' sight. There ain't a coward 
amongst them Shepherdsons not a one. And there ain't no cowards amongst 
the Grangerfords, either. Why, that old man kep' up his end in a fight one day, 
for a half an hour, against three Grangerfords, and come out winner. They was 
all a-horseback ; he lit off of his horse and got behind a little wood-pile, and kep' 
his horse before him to stop the bullets ; but the Grangerfords staid on their 
horses and capered around the old man, and peppered away at him, and he 
peppered away at them. Him and his horse both went home pretty leaky and 
crippled, but the Grangerfords had to be fetched home and one of 'em was 
dead, and another died the next day. No, sir, if a body's out hunting for 
cowards, he don't want to fool away any time amongst them Shepherdsons, becuz 
they don't breed any of that kind." 

Next Sunday we all went to church, about three mile, everybody a-horseback. 
The men took their guns along, so did Buck, and kept them between their knees 
or stood them handy against the wall. The Shepherdsons done the same. It 
was pretty ornery preaching all about brotherly love, and such-like tiresomeness; 
but everybody said it was a good sermon, and they all talked it over going 
home, and had such a powerful lot to say about faith, and good works, and free 
grace, and preforeordestination, and I don't know what all, that it did seem to 
me to be one of the roughest Sundays I had run across yet. 

About an hour after dinner everybody was dozing around, some in their chairs 
and some in their rooms, and it got to be pretty dull. Buck and a dog was 



stretched out on the grass in the sun, sound asleep. I went up to our room, and 
judged I would take a nap myself. I found that sweet Miss Sophia standing in 
her door, which was next to ours, and she took me in her room and shut the 
door very soft, and asked me if I liked her, and I said I did ; and she asked me 
if I would do something for her and not tell anybody, and I said I would. Then 
she said she'd forgot her Testament, and left it in the seat at church, between 
two other books and would I slip out quiet and go there and fetch it to her, 
and not say nothing to nobody. I said I would. So I slid out and slipped off 
up the road, and there warn't anybody at the church, except maybe a hog or 

the door, and hogs likes a puncheon floor 

two, for there warn't any lock on 
in summer-time because it's cool. 
If you notice, most folks don't go to 
church only when they've got to ; 
but a hog is different. 

Says I to myself something's up 
it ain't natural for a girl to be 
in such a sweat about a Testament ; 
so I give it a shake, and out drops a 
little piece of paper with "Half-past 
two " wrote on it with a pencil. I 
ransacked it, but couldn't find any- 
thing else. I couldn't make any- 
thing out of that, so I put the paper 
in the book again, and when I got 
home and up stairs, there was Miss 
Sophia in her door waiting for me. 
She pulled me in and shut the door ; 
then she looked in the Testament 
till she found the paper, and as soon 
as she read it she looked glad ; 

and before a body could think, she grabbed me and give me a squeeze, and said I 
was the best boy in the world, and not to tell anybody. She was mighty red in 



the face, for a minute, and her eyes lighted up and it made her powerful pretty. 
I was a good deal astonished, but when I got my breath I asked her what the 
paper was about, and she asked me if I had read it, and I said no, and she asked 
me if I could read writing, and I told her " no, only coarse-hand," and then she 
said the paper wara't anything but a book-mark to keep her place, and I might 
go and play now. 

I went off down to the river, studying over this thing, and pretty soon I 
noticed that my nigger was following along behind. When we was out of sight 
of the house, he looked back and around a second, and then comes a-running, 
and says : 

" Mars Jawge, if you'll come down into de swamp, I'll show you a whole 
stack o' water-moccasins." 

Thinks I, that's mighty curious ; he said that yesterday. He oughter know 
a body don't love water-moccasins enough to go around hunting for them. What 
is he up to anyway ? So I says 

" All right, trot ahead." 

I followed a half a mile, then he struck out over the swamp and waded 
ankle deep as much as another half mile. We come to a little flat piece of land 
which was dry and very thick with trees and bushes and vines, and he says 

"You shove right in dah, list a few steps, Mars Jawge, dah's whah dey is. I's 
seed 'm befo', I don't k'yer to see 'em no mo'." 

Then he slopped right along and went away, and pretty soon the trees hid 
him. I poked into the place a-ways, and come to a little open patch as big as a 
bedroom, all hung around with vines, and found a man laying there asleep and 
by jings it was my old Jim ! 

I waked him up, and I reckoned -it was going to be a grand surprise to him to 
see me again, but it warn't. He nearly cried, he was so glad, but he warn't 
surprised. Said he swum along behind me, that night, and heard me yell every 
time, but dasn't answer, because he didn't want nobody to pick him up, and take 
him into slavery again. Says he 

" I got hurt a little, en couldn't swim fas',' so I wuz a considable ways behine 
you, towards de las' ; when you landed I reck'ned I could ketch up wid you on de 


Ian' 'dout havin' to shout at you, but when I see dat house I begin to go slow. I 
'QZ off too fur to hear what dey say to you I wuz 'fraid o' de dogs but when it 
'uz all quiet agin, I knowed you's in de house, so I struck out for de woods to 
wait for day. Early in de mawnin' some er de niggers come along, gwyne to de 
fields, en dey tuck me en showed me dis place, whah de dogs can't track me on 
accounts o' de water, en dey brings me truck to eat every night, en tells me how 
you's a gitt'n along." 

" Why didn't you tell my Jack to fetch me here sooner, Jim ? " 
" Well, 'twarn't no use to 'sturb you, Huck, tell we could do sumf n but we's 
all right, now. 1 beu a-buyin' pots en pans en vittles, as I got a chanst, en a 

patchin' up de raf, nights, when " 

" What raft, Jim?" 
"Our olcraf." 

" You mean to say our old raft warn't smashed all to flinders ?" 
" No, she warn't. She was tore up a good deal one en' of her was but dey 
warn't no great harm done, on'y our traps was mos' all los'. Ef we hadn' dive' 
so deep en swum so fur under water, en de night hadn' ben so dark, en we warn't 
so sk'yerd, en ben sich punkin-heads, as de sayin' is, we'd a seed de raf. But it's 
jis' as well we didn't, 'kase now she's all fixed up agin mos' as good as new, en 
we's got a new lot o' stuff, too, in de place o' what 'uz los'." 

"Why, how did you get hold of the raft again, Jim did you catch her ?" 
" How I gwyne to ketch her, en I out in de woods ? No, some er de niggers 
foun' her ketched on a snag, along heah in de ben', en dey hid her in a crick, 
'mongst de willows, en dey wuz so much jawin' 'bout which un 'urn she b'long to de 
mos', dat I come to heah 'bout it pooty soon, so I ups en settles de trouble by tellin' 
'um she don't b'long to none uv um, but to you en me ; en I ast 'm if dey gwyne to 
grab a young white genlman's propaty, en git a hid'n for it ? Den I gin 'm ten 
cents apiece, en dey 'uz mighty well satisfied, en wisht some mo' raf's 'ud come 
along en make 'm rich agin. Dey's mighty good to me, dese niggers is, en 
whatever I wants 'm to do fur me, I doan' have to ast 'm twice, honey. Dat 
Jack's a good nigger, en pooty smart." 

" Yes, he is. He ain't ever told me you was here ; told me to come, and he'd. 


show me a lot of water-moccasins. If anything happens, he ain't mixed up in it. 
He can say he never seen ns together, and it'll be the truth." 

I don't want to talk much about the next day. I reckon I'll cut it pretty 
short. I waked up about dawn, and was agoing to turn over and go to sleep 
again, when I noticed how still it was didn't seem to be anybody stirring. 
That'warn't usual. Next I noticed that Buck was up and gone. Well, I gets 
up, a-wondering, and goes down stairs nobody around ; everything as still as 
a mouse. Just the same outside ; thinks I, what does it mean ? Down by the 
wood-pile I comes across my Jack, and says : 

" What's it all about ? " 

Says he : 

" Don't you know, Mars Jawge ? " 

"No," says I, "I don't." 

" Well, den, Miss Sophia's run off ! 'deed she has. She run off in de night, 
sometime nobody don't know jis' when run off to git married to dat young 
Harney Shepherdson, you know leastways, so dey 'spec. De fambly foun' it 
out, 'bout half an hour ago maybe a little mo' en' I tell you dey warn't no time 
los'. Sich another hurryin' up guns en hosses you never see ! De women folks 
has gone for to stir up de relations, en ole Mars Saul en de boys tuck dey guns en 
rode up de river road for to try to ketch dat young man en kill him 'fo' he kin 
git acrost de river wid Miss Sophia. I reck'n dey's gwyne to be mighty rough 

" Buck went off 'thout waking me up." 

"Well I reck'n he did! Dey warn't gwyne to mix you up in it. Mars 
Buck he loaded up his gun en 'lowed he's gwyne to fetch home a Shepherdson or 
bust. Well, dey'll be plenty un 'm dah, I reck'n, en you bet you he'll fetch one 
ef he gits a chanst." 

I took uj> the river road as hard as I could put. By-and-by I begin to hear 
guns a good ways off. When I come in sight of the log store and the wood-pile 
where the steamboats lands, I worked along under the trees and brush till I got 
to a good place, and then I dumb up into the forks of a cotton- wood that was out 
of reach, and watched. There was a wood-rank four foot high, a little ways in 



front of the tree, and first I was going to hide behind that ; but maybe it was 
luckier I didn't. 

There was four or five men cavorting around on their horses in the open 
place before the log store, cussing and yelling, and trying to get at a couple of 

young chaps that was behind the wood-rank alongside of the steamboat landing 

but they couldn't come it. Every time one of them showed himself on the river 


side of the wood-pile he got shot at. The two boys was squatting back to back 
behind the pile, so they could watch both ways. 

By-and-by the men stopped cavorting around and yelling. They started 
riding towards the store ; then up gets one of the boys, draws a steady bead over 
the wood-rank, and drops one of them out of his saddle. All the men jumped 
off of their horses and grabbed the hurt one and started to carry him to the store; 
and that minute the two boys started on the run. They got half-way to the tree 
I was in before the men noticed. Then the men see them, and jumped on their 
horses and took out after them. They gained on the boys, but it didn't do no 
good, the boys had too good a start ; they got to the wood-pile that was in front 


of my tree, and slipped in behind it, and so they had the bulge on the men again. 
One of the boys was Buck, and the other was a slim young chap about nineteen 
years old. 

The men ripped around awhile, and then rode away. As soon as they was 
out of sight, I sung out to Buck and told him. He didn't know what to make of 
my voice coming out of the tree, at first. He was awful surprised. He told me 
to watch out sharp and let him know when the men come in sight again ; said 
they was up to some devilment or other wouldn't be gone long. I wished I was 
out of that tree, but I dasn't come down. Buck begun to cry and rip, and 'lowed 
that him and his cousin Joe (that was the other young chap) would make up for 
this day, yet. He said his father and his two brothers was killed, and two or 
three of the enemy. Said the Shepherdsons laid for them, in ambush. Buck 
said his father and brothers ought to waited for their relations the Shepherdsons 
was too strong for them. I asked him what was become of young Harney and 
Miss Sophia. He said they'd got across the river and was safe. I was glad of 
that ; but the way Buck did take on because he didn't manage to kill Harney 
that day he shot at him I hain't ever heard anything like it. 

All of a sudden, bang ! bang ! bang ! goes three or four guns the men had 
slipped around through the woods and come in from behind without their horses! 
The boys jumped for the river both of them hurt and as they swum down the 
current the men run along the bank shooting at them and singing out, " Kill 
them, kill them !" It made me so sick I most fell out of the tree. I ain't agoing 
to tell all that happened it would make me sick again if I was to do that. I 
wished I hadn't ever come ashore that night, to see such things. I ain't ever 
going to get shut of them lots of times I dream about them. 

I staid in the tree till it begun to get dark, afraid to come down. Sometimes 
I heard guns away off in the woods ; and twice I seen little gangs of men gallop 
past the log store with guns ; so I reckoned the trouble was still agoing on. I 
was mighty down-hearted ; so 1 made up my mind I wouldn't ever go auear 
that house again, because 1 reckoned I was to blame, somehow. I judged that 
that piece of paper meant that Miss Sophia was to meet Harney somewheres at 
half-past two and run off ; and I judged I ought to told her father about that 


paper and the curious way she acted, and then maybe he would a locked her up 
and this awful mess wouldn't ever happened. 

When I got down out of the tree, I crept along down the river bank a 
piece, and found the two bodies laying in the edge of the water, and tugged 
at them till I got them ashore ; then I covered up their faces, and got away as 
quick as I could. I cried a little when I was covering up Buck's face, for he 
was mighty good to me. 

It was just dark, now. I never went near the house, but struck through the 
woods and made for the swamp. Jim warn't on his island, so I tramped off in 
a hurry for the crick, and crowded through the willows, red-hot to jump aboard 
and get out of that awful country the raft was gone ! My souls, but I was 
scared ! I couldn't get my breath for most a minute. Then I raised a yell. A 
voice not twenty-five foot from me, says 

" Good Ian' ! is dat you, honey ? Doan' make no noise." 

It was Jim's voice nothing ever sounded so good before. I run along the 
bank a piece and got aboard, and Jim he grabbed me and hugged me, he was so 
glad to see me. He says 

" Laws bless you, chile, I 'uz right down sho' you's dead agin. Jack's been 
heah, he say he reck'n you's ben shot, kase you didn' come home no mo' ; so 
I's jes' dis minute a startin' de raf down towards de mouf er de crick, so's to be 
all ready for to shove out en leave soon as Jack comes agin en tells me for certain 
you is dead. Lawsy, I's mighty glad to git you back agin, honey." 

I says 

" All right that's mighty good ; they won't find me, and they'll think I've 
been killed, and floated down the river there's something up there that'll help 
them to think so so don't you lose no time, Jim, but just shove off for the big 
water as fast as ever you can. " 

I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle 
of the Mississippi. Then we hung up our signal lantern, and judged that we was 
free and safe once more. I hadn't had a bite to eat since yesterday ; so Jim he got 
out some corn-dodgers and buttermilk, and pork and cabbage, and greens 
there ain't nothing in the world so good, when it's cooked right and whilst I eat 


my supper we talked, and had a good time. I was powerful glad to get away 
from the feuds, and so was Jim to get away from the swamp. We said there 
ivarn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and 
smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on 
a raft. 


___ I WO or three days and nights went by ; 
I reckon I might say they swum by, 
they slid along so quiet and smooth 
and lovely. Here is the way we put 
in the time. It was a monstrous big 
river down there sometimes a mile 
and a half wide ; we run nights, and 
laid up and hid day-times ; soon as 
night was most gone, we stopped 
navigating and tied up nearly al- 
ways in the dead water under a tow- 
head ; and then cut young cotton- 
woods and willows and hid the raft 
with them. Then we set out the 
lines. Next we slid into the river 
and had a swim, so as to freshen up 
and cool off ; then we set down on 
the sandy bottom where the water 

was about knee deep, and watched the daylight come. Not a sound, anywheres 
perfectly still just like the whole world was asleep, only sometimes the 
bull-frogs a-cluttering, maybe. The first thing to see, looking away over the 
water, was a kind of dull line that was the woods on t'other side you couldn't 
make nothing else out ; then a pale place in the sky ; then more paleness, 
spreading around ; then the river softened up, away off, and warn't black 
any more, but gray ; you could see little dark spots drifting along, ever so far 



away trading scows, and such things ; and long black streaks rafts ; some- 
times you could hear a sweep screaking ; or jumbled up voices, it was so still, 
and sounds come so far ; and by-and-by you could see a streak on the water 
which you know by the look of the streak that there's a snag there in a swift 
current which breaks on it and makes that streak look that way ; and you see 
the mist curl up off of the water, and the east reddens up, and the river, and you 
make out a log cabin in the edge of the woods, away on the bank on t'other side 
of the river, being a wood-yard, likely, and piled by them cheats so you can 
throw a dog through it anywheres ; then the nice breeze springs up, and comes 
fanning you from over there, so cool and fresh, and sweet to smell, on account of 
the woods and the flowers ; but sometimes not that way, because they've left 
dead fish laying around, gars, and such, and they do get pretty rank ; and next 
you've got the full day, and everything smiling in the sun, and the song-birds 
just going it ! 

A little smoke couldn't be noticed, now, so we would take some fish off of the 
lines, and cook up a hot breakfast. And afterwards we would watch the lone- 
someness of the river, and kind of lazy along, and by-and-by lazy off to sleep. 
Wake up, by-and-by, and look to see what done it, and maybe see a steamboat, 
coughing along up stream, so far off towards the other side you couldn't tell 
nothing about her only whether she was stern-wheel or side-wheel ; then for about 
an hour there wouldn't be nothing to hear nor nothing to see just solid lonesome- 
ness. Next you'd see a raft sliding by, away off yonder, and maybe a galoot on it 
chopping, because they're most always doing it on a raft ; you'd see the ax flash, and 
come down you don't hear nothing ; you see that ax go up again, and by the time 
it's above the man's head, then you hear the K chunk /it had took all that time 
to come over the water. So we would put in the day, lazying around, listening 
to the stillness. Once there was a thick fog, and the rafts and things that went 
by was beating tin pans so the steamboats wouldn't run over them. A scow or a 
raft went by so close we could hear them talking and cussing and laughing- 
heard them plain ; but we couldn't see no sign of them ; it made you feel crawly, 
it was like spirits carrying on that way in the air. Jim said he believed it was 
spirits ; but I says : 


" No, spirits wouldn't say, ' dern tlie dern fog.' " 

Soon as it was night, out we shoved ; when we got her out to about the 
middle, we let her alone, and let her float wherever the current wanted her 
to ; then we lit the pipes, and dangled our legs in the water and talked about 
all kinds of things we was always naked, day and night, whenever the 
mosquitoes would let us the new clothes Buck's folks made for me was 
too good to be comfortable, and besides I didn't go much on clothes, no- 

Sometimes we'd have that whole river all to ourselves for the longest 
time. Yonder was the banks and the islands, across the water ; and maybe a 
spark which was a candle in a cabin window and sometimes on the water 
you could see a spark or two on a raft or a scow, you know ; and maybe 
you could hear a fiddle or a song coming over from one of them crafts. It's 
lovely to live on a raft. "We had the sky, up there, all speckled with stars, 
and AVC used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about 
whether they was made, or only just happened Jim he allowed they was made, 
but 1 allowed they happened ; I judged it would have took too long to make 
so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them ; well, that looked kind of 
reasonable, so I didn't say nothing against it, because I've seen a frog lay 
most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that 
fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they'd got spoiled and was 
hove out of the nest. 

Once or twice of a night we would see a steamboat slipping along in the 
dark, and now and then she would belch a whole world of sparks up out 
of her chimbleys, and they would rain down in the river and look awful pretty ; 
then she would turn a corner and her lights would wink out and her pow-wow 
shut off and leave the river still again ; and by-and-by her waves would get to 
us, a long time after she was gone, and joggle the raft a bit, and after that you 
wouldn't hear nothing for you couldn't tell how long, except maybe frogs 
or something. 

After midnight the people on shore went to bed, and then for two or 
three hours the shores Avas black no more sparks in the cabin windows. These 



sparks was our clock the first one that showed again meant morning was coming, 
so we hunted a place to hide and tie up, right away. 

One morning about day-break, I found a canoe and crossed over a chute to 
the main shore it was only two hundred yards and paddled about a mile up 
a crick amongst the cypress woods, to see if I couldn't get some berries. Ju.-t 
as I was passing a place where a kind of a cow-path crossed the crick, here comes 
a couple of men tearing up the path as tight as they could foot it. I thought 

I was a goner, for when- 
ever anybody was after any- 
body I judged it was me or 
maybe Jim. I was about 
to dig out from there in a 
hurry, but they was pretty 
close to me then, and sung 
out and begged me to save 
their lives said they hadn't 
been doing nothing, and was 
being chased for it said there 
was men and dogs a-coming. 
They wanted to jump right 
in, but I says 

"Don't you do it. I 
don't- hear the dogs and 
horses yet ; you've got 
time to crowd through the 
brush and get up the crick 
a little ways ; then you take 
to the water and wade down 
to me and get in-that'll throw the dogs off the scent." 

They done it, and soon as they was aboard I lit out for our tow-head, and 
n about five or ten minutes we heard the dogs and the men away off, shouting. 
We heard them come along towards the crick, but couldn't see them ; they 



seemed to stop and fool around a while ; then, as we got further and further 
away all the time, we couldn't hardly hear them at all ; by the time we had 
left a mile of woods behind us and struck the river, everything was quiet, 
and we paddled over to the tow-head and hid in the cotton-woods and was 

One of these fellows was about seventy, or upwards, and had a bald head 
and very gray whiskers. He had an old battered-up slouch hat on, and a greasy 
blue woolen shirt, and ragged old blue jeans britches stuffed into his boot tops, 
and home-knit galluses no, he only had one. He had an old long-tailed blue 
jeans coat with slick brass buttons, flung over his arm, and both of them had 
big fat ratty-looking carpet-bags. 

The other fellow was about thirty and dressed about as ornery. After break- 
fast we all laid off and talked, and the first thing that come out was that these 
chaps didn't know one another. 

" What got you into trouble ? " says the baldhead to t'other chap. 

" Well, I'd been selling an article to take the tartar off the teeth and it does 
take it off, too, and generly the enamel along with it but I staid about one night 
longer than I ought to, and was just in the act of sliding out when I ran across 
you on the trail this side of town, and you told me they were coming, and begged 
me to help you to get off. So I told you I was expecting trouble myself and 
would scatter out with you. That's the whole yarn what's yourn ? " 

"Well, I'd ben a-runnin' a little temperance revival thar, 'bout a week, and 
was the pet of the women -folks, big and little, for I was makin' it mighty warm 
for the rummies, I tell you, and takin' as much as five or six dollars a night ten 
cents a head, children and niggers free and business a growin' all the time ; 
when somehow or another a little report got around, last night, that I had a way 
of puttin' in my time with a private jug, on the sly. A nigger rousted me out 
this morn in', and told me the people was getherin' on the quiet, with their dogs 
and horses, and they'd be along pretty soon and give me 'bout half an hour's 
start, and then run me down, if they could; and if they got me they'd tar and 
feather me and ride me on a rail, sure. I didn't wait for no breakfast I warn't 


"Old man," says the young one, "I reckon we might double-team it 
together ; what do you think ? " 

" I ain't undisposed. What's your line mainly ? " 

" Jour printer, by trade ; do a little in patent medicines ; theatre-actor 
tragedy, you know ; take a turn at mesmerism and phrenology when there's a 
chance ; teach singing-geography school for a change ; sling a lecture, sometimes 
oh, I do lots of things most anything that comes handy, so it ain't work. 
What's your lay ? " 

" I've done considerble in the doctoring way in my time. Layin' on o' hands is 
my best holt for cancer, and paralysis, and sich things; and I k'n tell a 
fortune pretty good, when I've got somebody along to find out the facts for 
me. Preachin's my line, too ; and workin' camp-meetin's ; and missionaryin 

Nobody never said anything for a while ; then the young man hove a sigh and 


" What 're you alassin' about ? " says the baldhead. 

" To think I should have lived to be leading such a life, and be degraded 
down into such company." And he begun to wipe the corner of his eye with a 

"Dern your skin, ain't the company good enough for you?" says the bald- 
head, pretty pert and uppish. 

" Yes, it is good enough for me ; it's as good as I deserve ; for who fetched 
me so low, when I was so high ? /did myself. I don't blame you, gentlemen 
far from it ; I don't blame anybody. I deserve it all. Let the cold world do its 
worst ; one thing I know there's a grave somewhere for me. The world may go 
on just as its always done, and take everything from me loved ones, property, 
everything but it can't take that. Some day I'll lie down in it and forget it all, 
and my poor broken heart will be at rest." He went on a-wiping. 

"Drot your pore broken heart," says the baldhead ; "what are you heav- 
ing your pore broken heart at its f'r ? We hain't done nothing." 

"No, I know you haven't, I ain't blaming you, gentlemen. I brought 



myself down yes, I did it myself. It's right I should suffer perfectly -right I 
don't make any moan." 

" Brought you down from whar ? Whar was you brought down from ? " 

"Ah, you would not believe me ; the world never believes let it pass 'tis 

no matter. The secret of my 
birth " 

" The secret of your birth ? 
Do you mean to say " 

" Gentlemen," says the young 
man, very solemn, "I will reveal 
it to you, for I feel I may have 
confidence in you. By rights I 
am a duke ! " 

Jim's eyes bugged out when 
he heard that ; and I reckon 
mine did, too. Then the bald- 
head says : " No ! you can't 
mean it?" 

" Yes. My great-grandfather, 

eldest son of the Duke of Bridge- l^ e ~ " " W'tfP 
water, fled to this country about 
the end of the last century, to 
breathe the pure air of freedom ; 
married here, and died, leaving a 

son, his own father dying about the same time. The second son of the late duke 
seized the title and estates the infant real duke was ignored. I am the lineal 
descendant of that infant I am the rightful Duke of Bridgewater ; and here am 
I, forlorn, torn from my high estate, hunted of men, despised by the cold world, 
ragged, worn, heart-broken, and degraded to the companionship of felons on 
a raft ! " 

Jim pitied him ever so much, and so did I. We tried to comfort him, but he 
said it warn't much use, he couldn't be much comforted ; said if we was a mind to 


acknowledge him, that would do him more good than most anything else ; so we 
said we would, if he would tell us how. He said we ought to bow, when we 
spoke to him, and say "Your Grace," or "My Lord," or "Your Lordship" 
and he wouldn't mind it if we called him plain " Bridgewater," which he said 
was a title, anyway, and not a name ; and one of us ought to wait on him at 
dinner, and do any little thing for him he wanted done. 

Well, that was all easy, so we done it. All through dinner Jim stood 
around and waited on him, and says, " Will yo' Grace have some o' dis, or 
some o' dat ? " and so on, and a body could see it was mighty pleasing to 

But the old man got pretty silent, by-and-by didn't have much to say, 
and didn't look pretty comfortable over all that petting that was going on around 
that duke. He seemed to have something on his mind. So, along in the after- 
noon, he says : 

" Looky here, Bilgewater," he says, " I'm nation sorry for you, but you ain't 
the only person that's had troubles like that." 


"No, you ain't. You ain't the only person that's ben snaked down 
wrongfully out'n a high place." 

" Alas ! " 

"No, you ain't the only person that's had a secret of his birth." And by 
jings, he begins to cry. 

" Hold ! What do you mean ? " 

" Bilgewater, kin I trust you ?" says the old man, still sort of sobbing. 

" To the bitter death ! " He took the old man by the hand and squeezed it, 
and says, " The secret of your being : speak ! " 

" Bilgewater, I am the late Dauphin ! " 

You bet you Jim and me stared, this time. Then the duke says 

"You are what?" 

"Yes, my friend, it is too true your eyes is lookin' at this very moment 
on the pore disappeared Dauphin, Looy the Seventeen, son of Looy the Sixteen 
and Marry An tonette." 




' You ! At your age ! No ! You mean you're the late Charlemagne ; you 
must be six or seven hundred 
years old, at the very least." 

" Trouble has done it, 
Bilgewater, trouble has done 
it ; trouble has brung these 
gray hairs and this premature 
balditude. Yes, gentlemen, 
you see before you, in blue 
jeans and misery, the wan- 
derm', exiled, trampled-on and 
sufferin' rightful King of 

Well, he cried and took on 
so, that me and Jim didn't 
know hardly what to do, we 
was so sorry and so glad and 
proud we'd got him with us, 
too. So we set in, like we done 
before with the duke, and tried 
to comfort him. But he said 

it warn't no use, nothing but to be dead and done with it all could do him any 
good ; though he said it often made him feel easier and better for a while if 
people treated him according to his rights, and got down on one knee to speak to 
him, and always called him " Your Majesty," and waited on him first at meals, 
and didn't set down in his presence till he asked them. So Jim and me set to 
majestying him, and doing this and that and t'other for him, and standing up till 
he told us we might set down. This done him heaps of good, and so he got 
cheerful and comfortable. But the duke kind of soured on him, and didn't look a 
bit satisfied with the way things was going ; still, the king acted real friendly 
towards him, and said the duke's great-grandfather and all the other Dukes of 
Bilgewater was a good deal thought of by his father and was allowed to come to 



the palace considerable ; but the duke staid huffy a good while, till by-and-by 
the king says : 

"Like as not we got to be together a blamed long time, on this h-yer raft, 
Bilgewater, and so what's the use o' your bein' sour ? It'll only make things 
oncomfortable. It ain't my fault I warn't born a duke, it ain't your fault you 
warn't born a king so what's the use to worry ? Make the best o' things the 
way you find 'em, says I that's my motto. This ain't no bad thing that we've 
struck here plenty grub and an easy life come, give us your hand, Duke, and 
less all be friends." 

The duke done it, and Jim and me was pretty glad to see it. It took away all 
the uncomfortableness, and we felt mighty good over it, because it would a been 
a miserable business to have any unfriendliness on the raft ; for what you want, 
above all things, on a raft, is for everybody to be satisfied, and feel right and 
kind towards the others. 

It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings 
nor dukes, at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said 
nothing, never let on ; kept it to myself ; it's the best way ; then you don't have 
no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble. If they wanted us to call them kings 
and dukes, I hadn't no objections, 'long as it would keep peace in the family ; 
and it warn't no use to tell Jim, so I didn't tell him. If I never learnt nothing 
else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people 
is to let them have their own way. 


below Orleans. Pa was pretty poor, 

ASKED us considerable many questions ; 
wanted to know what we covered up 
the raft that way for, and laid by in 
the day-time instead of running was 
Jim a runaway nigger ? Says I 

" Goodness sakes, would a runaway 
nigger run south ? " 

No, they allowed he wouldn't. I 
had to account for things some way, so 
I says : 

"My folks was living in Pike 
County, in Missouri, where I was born, 
and they all died off but me and pa 
and my brother Ike. Pa, he 'lowed 
he'd break up and go down and live 
with Uncle Ben, who's got a little one- 
horse place on the river, forty-four mile 
and had some debts ; so when he'd 

squared up there warn't nothing left but sixteen dollars and our nigger, Jim. 
That warn't enough to take us fourteen hundred mile, deck passage nor no other 
way. Well, when the river rose, pa had a streak of luck one day ; he ketched 
this piece of a raft ; so we reckoned we'd go down to Orleans on it. Pa's luck 
didn't hold out ; a steamboat run over the forrard corner of the raft, one night, 
and we all went overboard and dove under the wheel ; Jim and me come up, all 
right, but pa was drunk, and Ike was only four years old, so they never come up 


no more. Well, for the next day or two we had considerable trouble, because 
people was always coming out in skiffs and trying to take Jim away from me, 
saying they believed he was a runaway nigger. We don't run day-times no more, 
now ; nights they don't bother us." 

The duke says-^- 

" Leave me alone to cipher out a way so we can run in the day-time if we want 
to. I'll think the thing over I'll invent a plan that'll fix it. We'll let it alone 
for to-day, because of course we don't want to go by that town yonder in day- 
light it mightn't be healthy." 

Towards night it begun to darken up and look like rain ; the heat lightning 
was squirting around, low down in the sky, and the leaves was beginning to 
shiver it was going to be pretty ugly, it was easy to see that. jSo the duke and 
the king went to overhauling our wigwam, to see what the beds was like. My 
bed was a straw tick better than Jim's, which was a corn-shuck tick; there's 
always cobs around about in a shuck tick, and they poke into you and hurt ; and 
when you roll over, the dry shucks sound like you was rolling over in a pile of 
dead leaves ; it makes such a rustling that you wake up. Well, the duke allowed 
he would take my bed ; but the king allowed he wouldn't. He says 

" I should a reckoned the difference in rank would a sejested to you that a 
corn-shuck bed warn't just fitten for me to sleep on. Your Grace'll take the 
shuck bed yourself." 

Jim and me was in a sweat again, for a minute, being afraid there was going 
to be some more trouble amongst them ; so we was pretty glad when the duke 

" 'Tis my fate to be always ground into the mire under the iron heel of 
oppression. Misfortune has broken my once haughty spirit ; I yield, I submit ; 
'tis my fate. I am alone in the world let me suffer ; I can bear it." 

We got away as soon as it was good and dark. The king told us to stand well 
out towards the middle of the river, and not show a light till we got a long ways 
below the town. We come in sight of the little bunch of lights by-and-by that 
was the town, you know and slid by, about a half a mile out, all right. When 
we was three-quarters of a mile below, we hoisted up our signal lantern ; and 


about ten o'clock it come on to rain and blow and thunder and lighten like every- 
thing ; so the king told us to both stay on watch till the weather got better ; 
then him and the duke crawled into the wigwam and turned in for the night. It 
was my watch below, till twelve, but I wouldn't a turned in, anyway, if I'd had a 
bed ; because a body don't see such a storm as that every day in the week, not by 
a long sight. My souls, how the wind did scream along ! And every second or 
two there'd come a glare that lit up the white-caps for a half a mile around, and 
you'd see the islands looking dusty through the rain, and the trees thrashing 
around in the wind ; then comes a li-wack /bum ! bum ! bumble-umble-um- 
bum-bum-bum-bum and the thunder would go rumbling and grumbling away, 
and quit and then rip comes another flash and another sockdolager. The waves 
most washed me off the raft, sometimes, but I hadn't any clothes on, and didn't 
mind. We didn't have no trouble about snags ; the lightning was glaring 
and flittering around so constant that we could see them plenty soon enough to 
throw her head this way or that and miss them. 

I had the middle watch, you know, but I was pretty sleepy by that time, so Jim 
he said he would stand the first half of it for me ; he was always mighty good, 
th way, Jim was. I crawled into the wigwam, but the king and the duke had 
their legs sprawled around so there warn't no show for me ; so I laid outside I 
didn't mind the rain, because it was warm, and the waves warn't running so 
high, now. About two they come up again, though, and Jim was going to call 
me, but he changed his mind because he reckoned they warn't high enough yet 
to do any harm ; but he was mistaken about that, for pretty soon all of a sudden 
along comes a regular ripper, and washed me overboard. It most killed Jim 
a-laughing. He was the easiest nigger to laugh that ever was, anyway. 

I took the watch, and Jim he laid down and snored away ; and by-and-by the 
storm let up for good and all ; and the first cabin-light that showed, I rousted 
him out and we slid the raft into hiding-quarters for the day. 

The king got out an old ratty deck of cards, after breakfast, and him and the 
duke played seven-up a while, five cents a game. Then they got tired of it, and 
allowed they would 'May out a campaign," as they called it. The duke went 
down into his carpet-bag and fetched up a lot of little printed bills, and read 



them out loud. One bill said "The celebrated Dr. Armand de Montalban of 
Paris," would " lecture on the Science of Phrenology " at such and such a place, 
on the blank day of blank, at ten cents admission, and " furnish charts of charac- 
ter at twenty-five cents apiece." The duke said that was him. In another bill he 
was the " world renowned Shaksperean tragedian, Garrick the Younger, of Drury 
Lane, London." In other bills he had a lot of other names and done other 
wonderful things, like finding water and gold with a "divining rod," "dissipat- 
ing witch-spells," and so on. By-and-by he says 

" But the histrionic muse is the darling. Have you ever trod the boards, 


" No," says the king. 
"You shall, then, before 
you're three days older, Fallen 
Grandeur," says the duke. "The 
first good town we come to, we'll 
hire a hall and do the sword-fight 
in Richard III. and the balcony 
scene in Romeo and Juliet. How 
does that strike you ?" 

" I'm in, up to the hub, for 
anything that will pay, Bilge- 
water, but you see I don't know 
nothing about play-actn', and 
hain't ever seen much of it. I 
was too small when pap used to 
have 'em at the palace. Do you 
reckon you can learn me ? " 

"All right. I'm jist a- 
freezn' for something fresh, anyway. Less commence, right away." 

So the duke he told him all about who Romeo was, and who Juliet was, and 
said he was used to being Romeo, so the king could be Juliet. 



" But if Juliet's such a young gal, Duke, my peeled head and my white 
whiskers is goin' to look oncommon odd on her, maybe." 

" No, don't you worry these country jakes won't ever think of that. Be- 
sides, you know, you'll be in costume, and that makes all the difference in the 
world ; Juliet's in a balcony, enjoying the moonlight before she goes to bed, 
and she's got on her night-gown and her ruffled night- cap. Here are the 
costumes for the parts." 

He got out two or three curtain-calico suits, which he said was meedyevil 
armor for Kichard III. and t'other chap, and a long white cotton night-shirt 
and a ruffled night-cap to match. The king was satisfied ; so the duke got out 
his book and read the parts over in the most splendid spread-eagle way, prancing 
around and acting at the same time, to show how it had got to be done ; then 
he give the book to the king and told him to get his part by heart. 

There was a little one-horse town about three mile down the bend, and 
after dinner the duke said he had ciphered out his idea about how to run 
in daylight without it being dangersome for Jim ; so he allowed he would 
go down to the town and fix that thing. The king allowed he would go 
too, and see if he couldn't strike something. We was out of coffee, so Jim 
said I better go along with them in the canoe and get some. 

When we got there, there warn't nobody stirring ; streets empty, and 
perfectly dead and still, like Sunday. We found a sick nigger sunning him- 
self in a back yard, and he said everybody that warn't too young or too sick 
or too old, was gone to camp-meeting, about two mile back in the woods. 
The king got the directions, and allowed he'd go and work that camp-meeting 
for all it was worth, and I might go, too. 

The duke said what he was after was a printing office. We found it ; a little 
bit of a concern, up over a carpenter shop carpenters and printers all gone to 
the meeting, and no doors locked. It was a dirty, littered-up place, and had 
ink marks, and handbills with pictures of horses and runaway niggers on them, 
all over the walls. The duke shed his coat and said he was all right, now. So 
me and the king lit out for the camp-meeting. 

We got there in about a half an hour, fairly dripping, for it was a most awful 


hot day. There was as much as a thousand people there, from twenty mile 

around. The woods was full of teams and wagons, hitched everywheres, feeding 

out of the wagon troughs and stomping to keep off the flies. There was sheds 

made out of poles and roofed over with branches, where they had lemonade and 

.gingerbread to sell, and piles of watermelons and green corn and such-like truck. 

The preaching was going on under the same kinds of sheds, only they was 

bigger and held crowds of people. The benches was made out of outside slabs of 

logs, with holes bored in the round side to drive sticks into for legs. They 

didn't have no backs. The 
preachers had high platforms 
to stand on, at one end of the 
sheds. The women had on sun- 
bonnets : and some had linsey- 
woolsey frocks, some gingham 
ones, and a few of the young 
ones had on calico.' Sonic of the 
young men was barefooted, and 
some of the children didn't have 
on any clothes but just a tow- 
linen shirt. Some of the old 
women was knitting, and some 
of the young folks was courting 
on the sly. 

The first shed we come to, 
the preacher was lining out a 
hymn. He lined out two lines, 
everybody sung it, and it was 

"COUHTING ON THE SLY." ^^ f S^ t0 hear &> i} 

was so many of them and they 

done it in such a rousing way ; then he lined out two more for them to sing 
and so on. The people woke up more and more, and sung louder and louder ; 
and towards the end, some begun to groan, and some begun to shout. Then th 


preacher begun to preach ; and begun in earnest, too ; and went weaving first to 
one side of the platform and then the other, and then a leaning down over the 
front of it, with his arms and his body going all the time, and shouting his words 
out with all his might ; and every now and then he would hold up his Bible and 
spread it open, and kind of pass it around this way and that, shouting, " It's the 
brazen serpent in the wilderness ! Look upon it and live ! " And people would 
shout out, "Glory! A-a,-men!" And so he went on, and the people groaning 
and crying and saying amen : 

" Oh, come to the mourners' bench ! come, black with sin ! (amen /) come, 
sick and sore ! (amen /) come, lame and halt, and blind ! (amen /) come, pore 
and needy, sunk in shame ! (a-a-men /) come all that's Avorn, and soiled, and 
suffering ! come with a broken spirit ! come with a contrite heart ! come in 
your rags and sin and dirt ! the waters that cleanse is free, the door of heaven 
stands open oh, enter in and be at rest ! " (a-a-men I glory, glory hallelujah !) 

And so on. You couldn't make out what the preacher said, any more, on 
account of the shouting and crying. Folks got up, everywheres in the crowd, 
and worked their way, just by main strength, to the mourners' bench, with the 
tears running down their faces ; and when all the mourners had got up there to 
the front benches in a crowd, they sung, and shouted, and flung themselves 
down on the straw, just crazy and wild. 

Well, the first I knowed, the king got agoing ; and you could hear him over 
everybody ; and next he went a-charging up on to the platform and the preacher 
he begged him to speak to the people, and he done it. He told them he was a 
pirate been a pirate for thirty years, out in the Indian Ocean, and his crew 
was thinned out considerable, last spring, in a fight, and he was home now, to 
take out some fresh men, and thanks to goodness he'd been robbed last night, 
and put ashore off of a steamboat without a cent, and he was glad of it, it was 
the blessedest thing that ever happened to him, because he was a changed man 
now, and happy for the first time in his life; and poor as he was, he was 
going to start right off and work his way back to the Indian Ocean and put 
in the rest of his life trying to turn the pirates into the true path ; for he 
could do it better than anybody else, being acquainted with all the pirate crews 



in that ocean ; and though it would take him a long time to get there, without 
money, he would get there anyway, and every time he convinced a pirate he 
would say to him, " Don't you thank me, don't you give me no credit, it all 

belongs to them dear people in 
Pokeville camp-meeting, natural 
brothers and benefactors of the race 
and that dear preacher there, the 
truest friend a pirate ever had ! " 

And then he busted into tears, 
and so did everybody. Then some- 
body sings out, "Take up a collec- 
tion for him, take up a collection ! " 
Well, a half a dozen made a jump 
to do it, but somebody sings out, 
" Let Mm pass the hat around ! " 
Then everybody said it, the preacher 

So the king went all through 
the crowd with his hat, swabbing 
his eyes, and blessing the people 
and praising them and thanking 
them for being so good to the 
poor pirates away off there ; and every little while the prettiest kind of girls, 
with fhe tears running down their cheeks, would up and ask him would he let 
them kiss him, for to remember him by ; and he always done it ; and some of 
them he hugged and kissed as many as five or six times and he was invited to 
stay a week ; and everybody wanted him to live in their houses, and said they'd 
think it was an honor ; but he said as this was the last day of the camp-meeting 
he couldn't do no good, and besides he was in a sweat to get to the Indian Ocean 
right off and go to work on the pirates. 

When we got back to the raft and he come to count up, he found he had col- 
lected eighty-seven dollars and seventy-five cents. And then he had fetched 




away a three-gallon jug of whisky, too, that he found under a wagon when we 
was starting home through the woods. The king said, take it all around, it laid 
over any day he'd ever put in in the missionarying line. He said it warn't no use 
talking, heathens don't amount to shucks, alongside of pirates, to work a camp- 
meeting with. 

The duke was thinking he'd been doing pretty well, till the king come to 
show up, but after that he didn't think so so much. He had set up and printed 
off two little jobs for farmers, in that printing office horse bills and took the 
money, four dollars. And he had got in ten dollars worth of advertisements for 
the paper, which he said he would put in for four dollars if they would pay in 
advance so they done it. The 
price of the paper was two dol- 
lars a year, but he took in three 
subscriptions for half a dollar 
apiece on condition of them 
paying him in advance ; they 
were going to pay in cord- wood 
and onions, as usual, but he 
said he had just bought the con- 
cern and knocked down the f; 
price as low as he could afford it, 
and was going to run it for 
cash. He set up a little piece 
of poetry, which he made, him- 
self, out of his own head three 
verses kind of sweet and sad- 
dish the name of it was, 
"Yes, crash, cold world, this 
breaking heart" and he left 
that all set up and ready to 
print in the paper and didn't charge nothing for it. Well, he took in nine 
dollars and a half, and said he'd done a pretty square day's work for it. 



Then he showed us another little job he'd printed and hadn't charged for, 
because it was for us. It had a picture of a runaway nigger, with a bundle on 
a stick, over his shoulder, and "$200 reward" under it. The reading was all 
about Jim, and just described him to a dot. It said he run away from St. 
Jacques' plantation, forty mile below New Orleans, last winter, and likely went 
north, and whoever would catch him and send him back, he could have the 
reward and expenses. 

"Now," says the duke, "after to-night we can run in the daytime if we 
want to. Whenever we see anybody coming, we can tie Jim hand and foot 
with a rope, and lay him in the wigwam and show this handbill and say we captured 
him up the river, and were too poor to travel on a steamboat, so we got this 
little raft on credit from our friends and are going down to get the reward. 
Handcuffs and chains would look still better on Jim, but it wouldn't go well 
with the story of us being so poor. Too much like jewelry. Ropes are the cor- 
rect thing we must preserve the unities, as we say on the boards." 

We all said the duke was pretty smart, and there couldn't be no trouble about 
running daytimes. We judged we could make miles enough that night to get 
out of the reach of thepow-wow we reckoned the duke's work in the printing office 
was going to make in that little town then we could boom right along, if we 
wanted to. 

We laid low and kept still, and never shoved out till nearly ten o'clock ; then 
we slid by, pretty wide away from the town, and didn't hoist our lantern till we 
was clear out of sight of it. 

When Jim called me to take the watch at four in the morning, he says 

"Huck, does you reck'n we gwyne to run acrost any mo' kings on dis 

"No," I says, " I reckon not." 

"Well," says he, " dat's all right, den. I doan' mine one er two kings, but 
dat's enough. Dis one's powerful drunk, en de duke ain' much better." 

I found Jim had been trying to get him to talk French, so he could hear what 
it was like ; but he said he had been in this country so long, and had so much 
trouble, he'd forgot it. 

after XXI 


was after sun-up, now, but we went, 
right on, and didn't tie up. The king 
and the duke turned out, by-and-by, 
looking pretty rusty ; but after they'd 
jumped overboard and took a swim, it 
chippered them up a good deal. After 
breakfast the king he took a seat on a 
corner of the raft, and pulled off his 
boots and rolled up his britches, and 
let his legs dangle in the water, so as 
to be comfortable, and lit his pipe, and 
went to getting his Eomeo and Juliet 
by heart. When he had got it pretty 
good, him and the duke begun to 
practice it together. The duke had to 
learn him over and over again, how to 
say every speech ; and he made him sigh, and put his hand on his heart, and 
after while he said he done it pretty well ; " only," he says, " you mustn't 
bellow out Eomeo ! that way, like a bull you must eay it soft, and sick, and 
languishy, so E-o-o-meo ! that is the idea ; for Juliet's a dear sweet mere child 
of a girl, you know, and she don't bray like a jackass." 

Well, next they got out a couple of long swords that the duke made out of 

oak laths, and begun to practice the sword-fight the duke called himself 

Eichard III. ; and the way they laid on, and pranced around the raft was grand 

to see. But by-and-by the king tripped and fell overboard, and after that they 





took a rest, and had a talk about all kinds of adventures they'd had in other 
times along the river. 

After dinner, the duke says : 

" Well Capet, we'll want to make this a first-class show, you know, so I 
guess we'll add a little more to it. We want a little something to answer 
encores with, anyway." 

" What's onkores, Bilgewater ? " 
The duke told him, and then says : 

" I'll answer by doing the Highland fling or the sailor's hornpipe ; and you 

well, let me see oh, I've got it 
you can do Hamlet's soliloquy." 
" Hamlet's which ? " 
" Hamlet's soliloquy, you know; 
the most celebrated thing in 
Shakespeare. Ah, it's sublime, 
sublime ! Always fetches the 
house. I haven't got it in the 
book I've only got one volume 
but I reckon I can piece it out 
from memory. I'll just walk up 
and down a minute, and see if I 
can call it back from recollection's 

So he went to marching up 
and down, thinking, and frown- 
ing horrible every now and then ; 
then he would hoist up his eye- 
brows ; next he would squeeze his 
HAMUJT'S SOLILOQUY, hand on his forehead and stag- 

ger back and kind of moan ; next he would sigh, and next he'd let on to drop 
a tear. It was beautiful to see him. By-and-by he got it. He told us to give 
attention. Then he strikes a most noble attitude, with one leg shoved forwards, 


and his arms stretched away up, and his head tilted back, looking up at the sky ; 
and then he begins to rip and rave and grit his teeth ; and after that, all through 
his speech he howled, and spread around, and swelled up his chest, and just 
knocked the spots out of any acting ever / see before. This is the speech 
I learned it, easy enough, while he was learning it to the king : 

To be, or not to be ; that is the bare bodkin 

That makes calamity of so long life ; 

For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane, 

But that the fear of something after death 

Murders the innocent sleep, 

Great nature's second course, 

And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune 

Than fly to others that we know not of. 

There's the respect must give us pause : 

Wake Duncan with thy knocking ! I would thou couldst ; 

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, 

The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, 

The law's delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take, 

In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn 

In customary suits of solemn black, 

But that the undiscovered, country from whose bourne no traveler returns, 

Breathes forth contagion on the world, 

And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i' the adage, 

Is sicklied o'er with care, 

And all the clouds that lowered o'er our housetops, 

With this regard their currents turn awry, 

And lose the name of action. 

'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. But soft you, the fair Ophelia : 

Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws, 

But get thee to a nunnery go I 

Well, the old man he liked that speech, and he mighty soon got it so he could 
do it first rate. It seemed like he was just born for it ; and when he had his 
hand in and was excited, it was perfectly lovely the way he would rip and tear 
and rair up behind when he was getting it off. 


The first chance we got, the duke he had some show bills printed ; and after 
that, for two or three days as we floated along, the raft was a most uncommon 
lively place, for there warn't nothing but sword-fighting and rehearsing as the 
duke called it going on all the time. One morning, when we was pretty well 
down the State of Arkansaw, we come in sight of a little one-horse town in a big 
bend ; so we tied up about three-quarters of a mile above it, in the mouth of a 
crick which was shut in like a tunnel by the cypress trees, and all of us but Jim 
took the canoe and went down there to see if there was any chance in that place 
for our show. 

We struck it mighty lucky ; there was going to be a circus there that after- 
noon, and the country people was already beginning to come in, in all kinds of 
old shackly wagons, and on horses. The circus would leave before night, so our 
show would have a pretty good chance. The duke he hired the court house, and 
we went around and stuck up our bills. They read like this : 

Shaksperean Revival ! ! ! 

Wonderful Attraction ! 

For One Night Only I . 

The world renowned tragedians, 

David Garrick the younger, of Drury Lane Theatre, London, 


Edmund Kean the elder, of the Royal Haymarket Theatre, White- 
chapel, Pudding Lane, Piccadilly, London, and the 
Royal Continental Theatres, in their sublime 
Shaksperean Spectacle entitled 
The Balcony Scene 

Romeo and Juliet ! ! ! 

ft * 60 Mr. Garrick. 

Ju] iet Mr. Kean. 

Assisted by the whole strength of the company ! 
New costumes, new scenery, new appointments ! 



The thrilling, masterly, and blood-curdling 
Broad-sword conflict 
In Richard III. ! ! ! 

Richard III Mr. Garrick. 

Richmond Mr. Kean. 

also : 

(by special request,) 
Hamlet's Immortal Soliloquy ! ! 

By the Illustrious Kean ! 
Done by him 300 consecutive nights in Paris ! 

For One Night Only, 

On account of imperative European engagements ! 
Admission 25 cents ; children and servants, 10 cents. 

Then we went loafing around the town. The stores and houses was most all old 
shackly dried-up frame concerns that hadn't ever been painted ; they was set up 
three or four foot above ground on stilts, so as to be out of reach of the water 
when the river was overflowed. The houses had little gardens around them, but 
they didn't seem to raise hardly anything in them but jimpson weeds, and sun- 
flowers, and ash-piles, and old curled-up boots and shoes, and pieces of bottles, 
and rags, and played-out tin-ware. The fences was made of different kinds of 
boards, nailed on at different times ; and they leaned every which-way, and had 
gates that didn't generly have but one hinge a leather one. Some of the fences 
had been whitewashed, some time or another, but the duke said it was in 
Clumbus's time, like enough. There was generly hogs in the garden, and people 
driving them out. 

All the stores was along one street. They had white-domestic awnings in 
front, and the country people hitched their horses to the awning-posts. 
There was empty dry-goods boxes under the awnings, and loafers roosting 
on them all day long, whittling them with their Barlow knives ; and chaw- 
ing tobacco, and gaping and yawning and stretching a mighty ornery lot. 
They generly had on yellow straw hats most as wide as an umbrella, but 
didn't wear no coats nor waistcoats ; they called one another Bill, and Buck, 



and Hank, and Joe, and Andy, and talked lazy and drawly, and used con- 
siderable many cuss-words. There was as many as one loafer leaning up 
against every awning-post, and hie most always had his hands in his britches 

pockets, except when he fetched 
them out to lend a chaw of to- 
bacco or scratch. What a body 
was hearing amongst them, all 
the time was 

" Gimme a chaw 'v tobacker, 

" Cain't I hain't got but one 
chaw left. Ask Bill." 

Maybe Bill he gives him a 
chaw ; maybe he lies and says 
he ain't got none. Some of 
them kinds of loafers never has 
a cent in the world, nor a chaw 
of tobacco of their own. They 
get all their chawing by borrow- 
ing they say to a fellow, "I 
wisht you'd len' me a chaw, Jack, 
I jist this minute give Ben 
Thompson the last chaw I had " 
-GIMME A CH^/' which is a lie, pretty much 

every time ; it don't fool nobody 
but a stranger ; but Jack ain't no stranger, so he says 

" You give him a chaw, did you ? so did your sister's cat's grandmother. You 
pay me back the chaws you've awready borry'd off n me, Lafe Buckner, then I'll 
loan you one or two ton of it, and won't charge you no back intrust, nuther." 
" Well, I did pay you back some of it wunst." 

" Yes, you did 'bout six chaws. You borry'd store tobacker and paid back 


Store tobacco is flat black plug, but these fellows mostly chaws the natural 
leaf twisted. When they borrow a chaw, they don't generly cut it off with a 
knife, but they set the plug in between their teeth, and gnaw with their teeth 
and tug at the plug with their hands till they get it in two then sometimes the 
one that owns the tobacco looks mournful at it when it's handed back, and 
says, sarcastic 

" Here, gimme the chaw, and you take the plug." 

All the streets and lanes was just mud, they warn't nothing else but mud 
mud as black as tar, and nigh about a foot deep in some places ; and two or 
three inches deep in all the places. The hogs loafed and grunted around, 
every wheres. You'd see a muddy sow and a litter of pigs come lazying along 
the street and whollop herself right down in the way, where folks had to walk 
around her, and she'd stretch out, and shut her eyes, and wave her ears, whilst 
the pigs was milking her, and look as happy as if she was on salary. And 
pretty soon you'd hear a loafer sing out, " Hi ! so boy ! sick him, Tige ! " and 
away the sow would go, squealing most horrible, with a dog or two swinging to 
each ear, and three or four dozen more a-coming ; and then you would see all the 
loafers get up and watch the thing out of sight, and laugh at the fun and 
look grateful for the noise. Then they'd settle back again till there was a 
dog-fight. There couldn't anything wake them up all over, and make them 
happy all over, like a dog-fight unless it might be putting turpentine on a stray 
dog and setting fire to him, or tying a tin pan to his tail and see him run himself 
to death. 

On the river front some of the houses was sticking out over the bank, and 
they was bowed and bent, and about ready to tumble in. The people had 
moved out of them. The bank was caved away under one corner of some 
others, and that corner was hanging over. People lived in them yet, but it 
was dangersome, because sometimes a strip of land as wide as a house caves 
in at a time. Sometimes a belt of land a quarter of a mile deep will start in 
and cave along and cave along till it all caves into the river in one summer. 
Such a town as that has to be always moving back, and back, and back, because 
the river's always gnawing at it. 


The nearer it got to noon that day, the thicker and thicker was the wagons 
and horses in the streets, and more coming all the time. Families fetched their 
dinners with them, from the country, and eat them in the wagons. There 
was considerable whiskey drinking going on, and I seen three fights. By-and- 
by somebody sings out 

" Here comes old Boggs ! in from the country for his little old monthly 
drunk here he comes, boys ! " 

All the loafers looked glad I reckoned they was used to having fun out of 
Boggs. One of them, says 

"Wonder who he's a gwyne to chaw up this time. If he'd a chawed up all 
the men he's ben a gwyne to chaw up in the last twenty year, he'd have con- 
siderble ruputation, now." 

Another one says, " I wisht old Boggs 'd threaten me, 'cuz then I'd know I 
warn't gwyne to die for a thousan' year." 

Boggs comes a-tearing along on his horse, whooping and yelling like an Injun, 
and singing out 

" Cler the track, thar. I'm on the waw-path, and the price uv coffins is a 
gwyne to raise." 

He was drunk, and weaving about in his saddle ; he was over fifty year old, 
and had a very red face. Everybody yelled at him, and laughed at him, and 
gassed him, and he sassed back, and said he'd attend to them and lay them out in 
their regular turns, but he couldn't wait now, because he'd come to town to kill 
old Colonel Sherburn, and his motto was, " meat first, and spoon vittles to top 
off on." 

He see me, and rode up and says 

" Whar'd you come f'm, boy ? You prepared to die ? " 

Then he rode on. I was scared ; but a man says 

" He don't mean nothing ; he's always a carryin' on like that, when he's 
drunk. He's the best-naturedest old fool in Arkansaw never hurt nobody, 
drunk nor sober." 

Boggs rode up before the biggest store in town and bent his head down so he 
could see under the curtain of the awning, and yells 



" Come out here, Sherburn ! Come out and meet the man you've swindled. 
You're the houn' I'm after, and I'm a gwyne to have you, too ! " 

And so he went on, calling Sherburn everything he could lay his tongue to, 
and the whole street packed with people listening and laughing and going on. 
By-and-by a proud-looking man about fifty-five and he was a heap the best 
dressed man in that town, too steps out of the store, and the crowd drops back 
on each side to let him come. He says to Boggs, mighty ca'm and slow he says: 

" I'm tired of this ; but I'll endure it till one o'clock. Till one o'clock, mind 


no longer. If you open your mouth against me only once, after that time, you 
can't travel so far but I will find you." 

Then he turns and goes in. The crowd looked mighty sober ; nobody stirred, 
and there warn't no more laughing. Boggs rode off blackguarding Sherburn 
as loud as he could yell, all down the street ; and pretty soon back he comes and 
stops before the store, still keeping it up. Some men crowded around him 
and tried to get him to shut up, but he wouldn't ; they told him it would be one 
o'clock in about fifteen minutes, and so he must go home he must go right 
away. But it didn't do no good. He cussed away, with all his might, and 


throwed his hat down in the mud and rode over it, and pretty soon away he went 
a-raging down the street again, with his gray hair a-flying. Everybody that 
could get a chance at him tried their best to coax him off of his horse so they 
could lock him up and get him sober ; but it warn't no use up the street he 
would tear again, and give Sherburn another cussing. By-and-by somebody says 
"Go for his daughter! quick, go for his daughter; sometimes he'll listen tc 
her. If anybody can persuade him, she can." 

So somebody started on a ran. I walked down street a ways, and stopped. 
In about five or ten minutes, here comes Boggs again but not on his horse. He 
was a-reeling across the street towards me, bareheaded, with a friend on both 
sides of him aholt of his arms and hurrying him along. He was quiet, and 
looked uneasy ; and he warn't hanging back any, but was doing some of the 
hurrying himself. Somebody sings out 

I looked over there to see who said it, and it was that Colonel Sherburn. He 
was standing perfectly still, in the street, and had a pistol raised in his right 
hand not aiming it, but holding it out with the barrel tilted up towards the sky. 
The same second I see a young girl coming on the run, and two men with her. 
Boggs and the men turned round, to see who called him, and when they 
see the pistol the men jumped to one side, and the pistol barrel come 
down slow and steady to a level both barrels cocked. Boggs throws up 
both of his hands, and says, "0 Lord, don't shoot!" Bang! goes the 
first shot, and he staggers back clawing at the air bang ! goes the second one, 
and he tumbles backwards onto the ground, heavy and solid, with his arms 
spread out. That young girl screamed out, and comes rushing, and down 
she throws herself on her father, crying, and saying, "Oh, he's killed him, 
he's killed him!" The crowd closed up around them, and shouldered and 
jammed one another, with their necks stretched, trying to see, and people on 
the inside trying to shove them back, and shouting, "Back, back ! give him air, 
give him air ! " 

Colonel Sherburn he tossed his pistol onto the ground, and turned around on 
his heels and walked off. 



They took Boggs to a little drug store, the crowd pressing around, just the same, 
and the whole town following, and I rushed and got a good place at the window, 
where I was close to him and could see in. They laid him on the floor, and put one 
large Bible under his head, and opened another one and spread it on his breast- 
but they tore open his shirt 

first, and I seen where one of ^^^ i ') I 

the bullets went in. He made 
about a dozen long gasps, his 
breast lifting the Bible up when 
he drawed in his breath, and 
letting it down again when he 
breathed it out and after that 
he laid still; he was dead. 
Then they pulled his daughter 
away from him, screaming and 
crying, and took her off. She 
was about sixteen, and very 
sweet and gentle-looking, but 
awful pale and scared. 

Well, pretty soon the whole 
town was there, squirming and 
scrouging and pushing and 
shoving to get at the window 
and have a look, but people 
that had the places wouldn't 
give them up, and folks behind 

them was saying all the time, " Say, now, you've looked enough, you fellows ; 
'taint right and 'taint fair, for you to stay thar all the time, and never give 
nobody a chance ; other folks has their rights as well as you." 

There was considerable jawing back, so I slid out, thinking maybe there was 
going to be trouble. The streets was full, and everybody was excited. Every- 
body that seen the shooting was telling how it happened, and there was a big 



crowd packed around each one of these fellows, stretching their necks and 
listening. One long lanky man, with long hair and a big white fur stove-pipe 
hat on the back of his head, and a crooked-handled cane, marked out the places 
on the ground where Boggs stood, and where Sherburn stood, and the people 
following him around from one place to t'other and watching everything he done, 
and bobbing their heads to show they understood, and stooping a little and 
resting their hands on their thighs to watch him mark the places on the ground 
with his cane ; and then he stood up straight and stiff where Sherburn had 
stood, frowning and having his hat-brim down over his eyes, and sung out, 
" Boggs ! " and then fetched his cane down slow to a level, and says " Bang ! " 
staggered backwards, says " Bang ! " again, and fell down flat on his back. The 
people that had seen the thing said he done it perfect ; said it was just exactly 
the way it all happened. Then as much as a dozen people got out their bottles 
and treated him. 

Well, by-and-by somebody said Sherburn ought to be lynched. In about a 
minute everybody was saying it ; so away they went, mad and yelling, and 
snatching down every clothes-line they come to, to do the hanging with. 


swarmed up the street towards Sher- 
burn's house, a-whooping and yelling 
and raging like Injuns, and every- 
thing had to clear the way or get run 
over and tromped to mush, and it 
was awful to see. Children was heel- 
ing it ahead of the mob, screaming 
and trying to get out of the way ; and 
every window along the road was full 
of women's heads, and there was nig- 
ger boys in every tree, and bucks and 
wenches looking over every fence ; 
and as soon as the mob would get 
nearly to them they would break and 
skaddle back out of reach. Lots of 
the women and girls was crying and 
taking on, scared most to death. 

They swarmed up in front of Sher- 
burn's palings as thick as they could jam together, and you couldn't hear your- 
self think for the noise. It was a little twenty-foot yard. Some sung out " Tear 
down the fence ! tear down the fence ! " Then there was a racket of ripping and 
tearing and smashing, and down she goes, and the front wall of the crowd begins 
to roll in like a wave. 

Just then Sherburn steps out on to the roof of his little front porch, with a 



double-barrel gun in his hand, and takes his stand, perfectly ca'm and deliberate, 
not saying a word. The racket stopped, and the wave sucked back. 

Sherburn never said a word just stood there, looking down. The stiUness 
was awful creepy and uncomfortable. Sherburn run his eye slow along the 
crowd ; and wherever it struck, the people tried a little to outgaze him, but they 
couldn't ; they dropped their eyes and looked sneaky. Then pretty soon Sher- 
burn sort of kughed ; not the pleasant kind, but the kind that makes you feel 
like when you are eating bread that's got sand in it. 

Then he says, slow and scornful : 

" The idea of you lynching anybody ! It's amusing. The idea of you think- 
ing you had pluck enough to lynch a man ! Because you re brave enough to tar 
and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make 
you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a man f Why, a man's safe 
in the hands of ten thousand of your kind as long as it's day-time and you're not 
behind him. 

'' Do I know you ? I know you clear through. I was born and raised in the 
South, and I've lived in the North ; so I know the average all around. The 
average man's a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that 
wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South 
one man, all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men, in the day-time, and 
robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think 
you are braver than any other people whereas you're just as brave, and no braver. 
Why don't your juries hang murderers? Because they're afraid the man's friends 
will shoot them in the back, in the dark and it's just what they would do 

" So they always acquit ; and then a man goes in the night, with a hundred 
masked cowards at his back, and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you 
didn't bring a man with you ; that's one mistake, and the other is that you didn't 
come in the dark, and fetch your masks. You brought part of a man Buck 
Harkness, there and if you hadn't had him to start you, you'd a taken it out in 

" You didn't want to come. The average man don't like trouble and danger. 
You don't like trouble and danger. But if only h alf a man like Buck Hark- 



ness, there shouts ' Lynch him, lynch him ! ' you're afraid to back down 

afraid you'll be found out to be what you are cowards and so you raise a yell, 
and hang yourselves onto that half-a-man ? s coat tail, and come raging up here, 
swearing what big things you're going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a 
mob ; that's what an army is a mob ; they don't fight with courage that's born 
in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their 
officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it, is beneath pitifulness. 
Now the thing for you to do, is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a 
hole. If any real lynching's going to be done, it will be done in the dark, 


Southern fashion ; and when they come they'll bring their masks, and fetch a 
man along. Now leave and take your half-a-man with you " tossing his gun 
up across his left arm and cocking it, when he says this. 

The crowd washed back sudden, and then broke all apart and went tearing 
off every which way, and Buck Harkness he heeled it after them, looking toler- 
able cheap. 1 could a staid, if I'd a wanted to, but I didn't want to. 

I went to the circus, and loafed around the back side till the watchman went 
by, and then dived in under the tent. I had my twenty-dollar gold piece and 
gome other money, but I reckoned I better save it, because there ain't no telling 


how soon you are going to need it, away from home and amongst strangers, that 
way. You can't be too careful. I ain't opposed to spending money on circuses, 
when there ain't no other way, but there ain't no use in wasting it on them. 

It was a real bully circus. It was the splendidest sight that ever was, when 
they all come riding in, two and two, a gentleman and lady, side by side, the 
men just in their drawers and under-shirts, and no shoes nor stirrups, and resting 
their hands on their thighs, easy and comfortable there must a' been twenty of 
them and every lady with a lovely complexion, and perfectly beautiful, and 
looking just like a gang of real sure-enough queens, and dressed in clothes that 
cost millions of dollars, and just littered with diamonds. It was a powerful fine 
sight ; I never see anything so lovely. And then one by one they got up and 
stood, and went a- weaving around the ring so gentle and wavy and graceful, the 
men looking ever so tall and airy and straight, with their heads bobbing and 
skimming along, away up there under the tent-roof, and every lady's rose-leafy 
dress flapping soft and silky around her hips, and she looking like the most love- 
liest parasol. 

And then faster and faster they went> all of them dancing, first one foot stuck 
out in the air and then the other, the horses leaning more and more, and the 
ring-master going round and round the centre-pole, cracking his whip and 
shouting " hi ! hi !" and the clown cracking jokes behind him ; and by-and- 
by all hands dropped the reins, and every lady put her knuckles on her hips and 
every gentleman folded his arms, and then how the horses did lean over and 
hump themselves ! And so, one after the other they all skipped off into the ring, 
and made the sweetest bow I ever see, and then scampered out, and everybody 
clapped their hands and went just about wild. 

Well, all through the circus they done the most astonishing things ; and all 
the time that clown carried on so it most killed the people. The ring-master 
couldn't ever say a word to him but he was back at him quick as a wink with the 
funniest things a body ever said ; and how he ever could think of so many of 
them, and so sudden and so pat, was what I couldn't noway understand. Why, 
I couldn't a thought of them in a year. And by-and-by a drunk man tried to 
get into the ring said he wanted to ride ; said he could ride as well as anybody 



that ever was. They argued and tried to keep him out, but he wouldn't listen, 
and the whole show come to a standstill. Then the people begun to holler at 
him and make fun of him, and that made him mad, and he begun to rip and 
tear ; so that stirred up the people, and a lot of men begun to pile down off of 
the benches and swarm towards the ring, saying, " Knock him down ! throw 
him out ! " and one or two women begun to scream. So, then, the ring-master 
he made a little speech, and said he hoped there wouldn't be no disturbance, and 
if the man would promise he wouldn't make no more trouble, he would let him 
ride, if he thought he could stay on the horse. So everybody laughed and said all 
right, and the man got on. 
The minute he was on, the 
horse begun to rip and tear 
and jump and cavort around, 
with two circus men hanging 
onto his bridle trying to hold 
him, and the drunk man 
hanging onto his neck, and 
his heels flying in the air every 
jump, and the whole crowd 
of people standing up shout- 
ing and laughing till the tears -' 
rolled down. And at last, -^ 
sure enough, all the circus 
men could do, the horse broke 
loose, and away he went like 
the very nation, round and 
round the ring, with that sot 
laying down on him and hang- 
ing to his neck, with first one 
leg hanging most to the ground 
on one side, and then t'other one on t'other side, and the people just crazy. It 
warn't funny to me, though ; I was all of a tremble to see his danger. But 



pretty soon he struggled up astraddle and grabbed the bridle, a-reeling this way 
and that ; and the next minute he sprung up and dropped the bridle and stood ! 
and the horse agoing like a house afire too. He just stood up there, a-sailing 
around as easy and comfortable as if he warn't ever drunk in his life and then 
he begun to pull off his clothes and sling them. He shed them so thick they 
kind of clogged up the air, and altogether he shed seventeen suits. And then, 
there he was, slim and handsome, and dressed the gaudiest and prettiest you 
ever saw, and he lit into that horse with his whip and made him fairly hum 
and finally skipped off, and made his bow and danced off to the- dressing-room, 
and everybody just a-howling with pleasure and astonishment. 

Then the ring-master he see how he had been fooled, and he was the sickest 
ring-master you ever see, I reckon. Why, it was one of his own men ! He had 
got up that joke all out of his own head, and never let on to nobody. Well, I 
felt sheepish enough, to be took in so, but I wouldn't a been in that ring-mas- 
ter's place, not for a thousand dollars. I don't know ; there may be bullier 
circuses than what that one was, but I never struck them yet. Anyways it was 
plenty gooi enough for me ; and wherever I run across it, it can have all of my 
custom, every time. 

Well, that night we had our show ; but there warn't only about twelve 
people there ; just enough to pay expenses. And they laughed all the time, and 
that made the duke mad ; and everybody left, anyway, before the show was over, 
but one boy which was asleep. So the duke said these Arkansaw lunkheads 
couldn't come up to Shakspeare ; what they wanted was low comedy and may 
be something ruther worse than low comedy, he reckoned. He said he could 
size their style. So next morning he got some big sheets of wrapping-paper and 
some black paint, and drawed off some handbills and stuck them up all over the 
village. The bills said : 




The World-Renowned Tragedians 



Of the London and Continental 


In their Thrilling Tragedy of 



Admission 50 cents. 
Then at the bottom was the biggest line of all which said : 


" There," says he, ''if that line don't fetch them, I dont know Arkansaw! " 

all day him and the king was hard 
at it, rigging up a stage, and a cur- 
tain, and a row of candles for foot- 
lights ; and that night the house 
was jam full of men in no time. 
When the place couldn't hold no 
more, the duke he quit tending door 
and went around the back way and 
come onto the stage and stood up 
before the curtain, and made a 
little speech, and praised up this 
tragedy, and said it was the most 
thrillingest one that ever was ; and 
so he went on a-bragging about the 
tragedy and about Edmund Kean 
the Elder, which was to play the 
TRAGEDY. ma ^ n principal part in it ; and at 

last when he'd got everybody's ex- 
pectations up high enough, he rolled up the curtain, and the next minute the 
king come a-prancing out on all fours, naked ; and he was painted all over, ring- 
streaked-and-striped, all sorts of colors, as splendid as a rainbow. And but 
never mind the rest of his outfit, it was just wild, but it was awful funny. The 
people most killed themselves laughing ; and when the king got done, capering, 
and capered off behind the scenes, they roared and clapped and stormed and haw- 
hawed till he come back and done it over again ; and after that, they made him 


do it another time. Well, it would a made a cow laugh to see the shines that old 
idiot cut. 

Then the duke he lets the curtain down, and bows to the people, and says the 
great tragedy will be performed only two nights more, on accounts of pressing 
London engagements, where the seats" is all sold aready for it in Drury Lane ; 
and then he makes them another bow, and says if he has succeeded in pleasing 
them and instructing them, he will be deeply obleeged if they will mention it to 
their friends and get them to come and see it. 

Twenty people sings out : 

" What, is it over ? Is that all?" 

The duke says yes. Then there was a fine time. Everybody sings out " sold," 
and rose up mad, and was agoing for that stage and them tragedians. But a big 
fine-looking man jumps up on a bench, and shouts : 

" Hold on ! Just a word, gentlemen." They stopped to listen. " We are 
sold mighty badly sold. But we don't want to be the laughing-stock of this 
whole town, I reckon, and never hear the last of this thing as long as we live. 
No. What we want, is to go out of here quiet, and talk this show up, and sell 
the rest of the town ! Then we'll all be in the same boat. Ain't that sensible ?" 
("You bet it is ! the jedge is right ! " everybody sings out.) " All right, then 
not a word about any sell. . Go along home, and advise everybody to come and 
see the tragedy." 

Next day you couldn't hear nothing around that town but how splendid that 
show was. House was jammed again, that night, and we sold this crowd the 
same way. When me and the king and the duke got home to the raft, we all had 
a supper ; and by-and-by, about midnight, they made Jim and me back her out 
and float her down the middle of the river and fetch her in and hide her about 
two mile below town. 

The third night the house was crammed again and they warn't new-comers, 
this time, but people that was at the show the other two nights. I stood by 
the duke at the door, and I see that every man that went in had his pockets 
bulging, or something muffled up under his coat and I see it warn't no per- 
fumery neither, not by a long sight. I smelt sickly eggs by the barrel, and 



rotten cabbages, and such things ; and if I know the signs of a dead cat being 
around, and I bet I do, tbere was sixty-four of them went in. I shoved in 

there for a minute, but it was too 
various for me, I couldn't stand it. 
Well, when the place couldn't hold no 
more people, the duke he give a fellow 
a quarter and told him to tend door for 
him a minute, and then he started 
around for the stage door, I after him ; 
but the minute we turned the corner 
and was in the dark, he says : 

" Walk fast, now, till you get away 
from the houses, and then shin for the 
raft like the dickens was after you ! " 

I done it, and he done the same. We 
struck the raft at the eame time, and in 
less than two seconds we was gliding 
down stream, all dark and still, and 
edging towards the middle of the river, 
nobody saying a word. I reckoned the 
pcor king was in for a gaudy time of 
it with the audience ; but nothing of 
the sort ; pretty soon he crawls out from under the wigwam, and says : 
" Well, how'd the old thing pan out this time, Duke ? " 
He hadn't been up town at all. 

We never showed a light till we was about ten mile below that village. 
Then we lit up and had a supper, and the king and the duke fairly laughed their 
bones loose over the way they'd served them people. The duke says : 

"Greenhorns, flatheads ! 7 knew the first house would keep mum and let 
the rest of the town get roped in ; and I knew they'd lay for us the third night, 
and consider it was their turn now. Well, it is their turn, and I'd give some- 
thing to know how much they'd take for it. I would just like to know how 



they're putting in their opportunity. They can turn it into a picnic, if they 
want to they brought plenty provisions." 

Them rapscallio'hs took in four hundred and sixty-five dollars in that three 
nights. I never see money hauled in by the wagon-load like that, before. 

By-and by, when they was asleep and snoring, Jim says : 

"Don't it 'sprise you, de way dem kings carries on, Huck ? " 

"No," I says, "it don't." 

" Why don't it, Huck ? " 

"Well, it don't, because it's in the breed. I reckon they're all alike." 

" But, Huck, dese kings o' ourn is regular rapscallions ; dat's jist what dey 
is ; dey's reglar rapscallions." 

" Well, that's what I'm a-saying ; all kings is mostly rapscallions, as fur as 
I can make out." 

" Is dat so ? " 

"You read about them once you'll see. Look at Henry the Eight; 
this'n 's a Sunday-School Superintendent to him. And look at Charles Second, 
and Louis Fourteen, and Louis Fifteen, and James Second, and Edward Second, 
and Kichard Third, and forty more ; besides all them Saxon heptarchies that 
used to rip around so in old times and raise Cain. My, you ought to seen old 
Henry the Eight when he was in bloom. He was a blossom. He used to marry 
a new wife every day, and chop off her head next morning. And he would do it 
just as indifferent as if he was ordering up eggs. ' Fetch up Nell Gwynn,' he 
says. They fetch her up. Next morning, ' Chop off her head ! ' And they 
chop it off. 'Fetch up Jane Shore,' he says ; and up she comes. Next morning 
'Chop off her head' and they chop it off. 'Ring up Fair Rosamun.' Fair 
Rosamun answers the bell. Next morning, 'Chop off her head.' And he made 
every one of them tell him a tale every night ; and he kept that up till he had 
hogged a thousand and one tales that way, and then he put them all in a book, 
and called it Domesday Book which was a good name and stated the case. 
You don't know kings, Jim, but I know them ; and this old rip of ourn is one 
of the cleanest I've struck in history. Well, Henry he takes a notion he wants 
to get up some trouble with this country. How does he go at it give notice ? 



give the country a show ? No. All of a sudden he heaves all the tea in 
Boston Harbor overboard, and whacks out a declaration of independence, and 

dares them to coine on. That was 
his style he never give anybody a 
chance. He had suspicions of his 
father, the Duke of Wellington. 
Well, what did he do ? ask him to 
show up ? Nc drownded him in 
a butt of mamsey, like a cat. Spose 
people left money laying around 
where he was what did he do ? 
He collared it. Spose he contracted 
to do a thing ; and you paid him, 
and didn't set down there and see 
that he done it what did he do ? 
He always done the other thing. 
Spose he opened his mouth what 
then ? If he didn't shut it up 
powerful quick, he'd lose a lie, every 
time. That's the kind of a bug 
Henry was ; and if we'd a had him 
along 'stead of our kings, he'd a 
fooled that town a heap worse than ourn done. I don't say that ourn is lambs, 
because they ain't, when you come right down to the cold facts ; but they ain't 
nothing to that old ram, anyway. All I say is, kings is kings, and you got to 
make allowances. Take them all around, they're a mighty ornery lot. It's the 
way they're raised." 

' But dis one do smell so like de nation, Huck." 

" Well, they all do, Jim. We can't help the way a king smells ; history 
don't tell no way." 

"Now de duke, he's a tolerble likely man, in some ways." 

" Yes, a duke's different. But not very different. This one's a middling 



hard lot, for a duke. When he's drunk, there ain't no near-sighted man could 
tell him from a king." 

"Well, anyways, I doan' hanker for no mo' un um, Huck. Dese is all I 
kin stan'." 

" It's the way I feel, too, Jim. But we've got them on our hands, and 
we got to remember what they are, and make allowances. Sometimes I wish 
we could hear of a country that's out of kings." 

What was the use to tell Jim these warn't real kings and dukes ? It wouldn't 
a done no good ; and besides, it was just as I said ; you couldn't tell them from 
the real kind. 

I went to sleep, and Jim didn't call me when it was my turn. He often done 
that. When I waked up, just at day-break, he was setting there with his head 
down betwixt his knees, moaning and mourning to himself. I didn't take notice, 
nor let on. I knowed what it was about. He was thinking about his wife and 
his children, away up yonder, and he was low and homesick ; because he hadn't 
ever been away from home before in his life ; and I do believe he cared just as 
much for his people as white folks does for their'n. It don't seem natural, but I 
reckon it's so. He was often moaning and mourning that way, nights, when he 
judged I was asleep, and saying, " Po' little 'Lizabeth ! po' little Johnny ! its 
mighty hard ; I spec' I ain't ever gwyne to see you no mo', no mo'!" He was a 
mighty good nigger, Jim was. 

But this time I somehow got to talking to him about his wife and young ones; 
and by-and-by he says : 

" What makes me feel so bad dis time, 'uz bekase I hear sumpn over yonder 
on de bank like a whack, er a slam, while ago, en it mine me er de time I treat 
my little 'Lizabeth so ornery. She warn't on'y 'bout fo' year ole, en she tuck de 
sk'yarlet-fever, en had a powf ul rough spell ; but she got well, en one day she was 
a-stannin' aroun', en I says to her, I says : 

" Shet de do'.' 

" She never done it ; jis' stood dah, kiner smilin' up at me. It make me 
mad ; en I says agin, mighty loud, I says : 

" ' Doan' you hear me ? shet de do' ! ' 


" She jis' stood de same way, kiner smilin' up. I was a-bilin' ! I says : 

'"I lay I make you mine ! ' 

" En wid dat I fetch' her a slap side de head dat sont her a-sprawlin'. Den I 
went into de yuther room, en 'uz gone 'bout ten minutes ; en when I come back, 
dah was dat do' a-stanuin' open yit, en dat chile stannin' mos' right in it, 
a-lookin' down and mournin', en de tears runnin' down. My, but I wuz mad, 
I was agwyne for de chile, but jis' den it was a do' dat open innerds jis' den, 
'long come de wind en slam it to, behine de chile, ker-J&zw/ en my Ian', de 
chile never move' ! My breff mos' hop outer me ; en I feel so so I doan' know 
how I feel. I crope out, all a-tremblin', en crope aroun' en open de do' easy en 
slow, en poke my head in behine de chile, sof en still, en all uv a sudden, I says 
pow I jis' as loud as I could yell. She never budge ! Oh, Huck, I bust out 
a-cryin' en grab her up in my arms, en say, ' Oh, de po' little thing ! de Lord God 
Amighty f ogive po' ole Jim, kaze he never gwyne to f ogive hisself as long's he 
live ! ' Oh, she was plumb deef en dumb, Huck, plumb deef en dumb en I'd 
ben a-treat'n her so ! " 

CKabter XXIV 

NEXT day, towards night, we laid up under 
a little willow tow-head out in the 
middle, where there was a village on 
each side of the river, and the duke 
and the king begun to lay out a 
plan for working them towns. Jim 
he spoke to the duke, and said he 
hoped it wouldn't take but a few 
hours, because it got mighty heavy 
and tiresome to him when he had 
to lay all day in the wigwam tied 
with the rope. You see, when we 
left him all alone we had to tie him, 
because if anybody happened on him 
all by himself and not tied, it wouldn't 
look much like he was a runaway 
nigger, you know. So the duke said 
it was kind of hard to have to lay roped all day, and he'd cipher out some way to 
get around it. 

He was uncommon bright, the duke was, and he soon struck it. He dressed 
Jim up in King Lear's outfit it was a long curtain-calico gown, and a white 
horse-hair Avig and whiskers ; and then he took his theatre-paint and painted 
Jim's face and hands and ears and neck all over a dead dull solid blue, like a 
man that's been drownded nine days. Blamed if he warn't the horriblest looking 
outrage I ever see. Then the duke took and wrote out a sign on a shingle so 



Sick Arab but harmless when not out of his head. 

And he nailed that shingle to a lath, and stood the lath up four or five foot in 
front of the wigwam. Jim was satisfied. He said it was a sight better than 
laying tied a couple of years every day and trembling all over every time there 
was a sound. The duke told him to make himself free and easy, and if any- 
body ever come meddling around, he must hop out of the wigwam, and carry on 
a little, and fetch a howl or two like a wild beast, and he reckoned they would 
light out and leave him alone. Which was sound enough judgment ; but you 
take the average man, and he wouldn't wait for him to howl. Why, he didn't 
only look like he was dead, he looked considerable more than that. 

These rapscallions wanted to try the Nonesuch again, because there was so 
much money in it, but they judged it wouldn't be safe, because maybe the news 
might a worked along down by this time. They couldn't hit no project that 
suited, exactly ; so at last the duke said he reckoned he'd lay off and work his 
brains an hour or two and see if he couldn't put up something on the Arkansaw 
village; and the king he allowed he would drop over to t'other village, without any 
plan, but just trust in Providence to lead him the profitable way meaning the 
devil, I reckon. We had all bought store clothes where we stopped last; and now 
the king put his'n on, and he told me to put mine on. I done it, of course. The 
king's duds was all black, and he did look real swell and starchy. I never knowed 
how clothes could change a body before. Why, before, he looked like the 
orneriest old rip that ever was ; but now, when he'd take off his new white beaver 
and make a bow and do a smile, he looked that grand and good and pious that 
you'd say he had walked right out of the ark, and maybe was old Leviticus 
himself. Jim cleaned up the canoe, and I got my paddle ready. There 
was a big steamboat laying at the shore away up under the point, about three 
mile above town been there a couple of hours, taking on freight. Says the 

"Seem' how I'm dressed, I reckon maybe I better arrive down from St. Louis 
or Cincinnati, or some other big place. Go for the steamboat, Huckleberry ; 
we'll come down to the village on her." 

I didn't have to be ordered twice, to go and take a steamboat ride. I fetched 



the shore a half a mile above the Tillage, and then went scooting along the bluff 
bank in the easy water. Pretty soon we come to a nice innocent-looking young 
country jake setting on a log swabbing the sweat off of his face, for it was 
powerful warm weather ; and he had a couple of big carpet-bags by him. 

" Kun her nose in shore," says the king. I done it. " Wher* you bound for, 
young man ?" 

"For the steamboat ; going to Orleans." 

"Git aboard," says the king. "Hold on a minute, my servant '11 he'p you 

with them bags. Jump out and he'p the gentleman, Adolphus " meaning 
me, I see. 

I done so, and then we all three started on again. The young chap was 
mighty thankful ; said it was tough work toting his baggage such weather. 
He asked the king where he was going, and the king told him he'd come 
down the river and landed at the other village this morning, and now he was 
going up a few mile to see an old friend on a farm up there. The young 
fellow says ? 


" When I first see you, 1 says to myself, 'It's Mr. Wilks, sure, and he come 
mighty near getting here in time.' But then I says again, 'No, I reckon it 
ain't him, or else he wouldn't be paddling up the river.' You ain't him, arc 
you ? " 

"No, my name's Blodgett Elexander Blodgett Reverend Elexander 
Blodgett, I spose I must say, as I'm one o' the Lord's poor servants. But 
still I'm jist as able to be sorry for Mr. Wilks for not arriving in time, all 
the same, if he's missed anything by it which I hope he hasn't." 

"Well, he don't miss any property by it, because he'll get that all right; 
but he's missed seeing his brother Peter die which he mayn't mind, nobody 
can tell as to that but his brother would a give anything in this world to 
see him before he died ; never talked about nothing else all these three weeks ; 
hadn't seen him since they was boys together and hadn't ever seen his 
brother William at all that's the deef and dumb one William ain't more 
than thirty or thirty-five. Peter and George was the only ones that come out 
here ; George was the married brother ; him and his wife both died last year. 
Harvey and William's the only ones that's left now ; and, as I was saying, they 
haven't got here in time." 

" Did anybody send 'em word ? " 

"Oh, yes; a mouth or two ago, when Peter was first took; because Peter 
said then that he sorter felt like he warn't going to get well this time. 
You see, he was pretty old, and George's g'yirls was too young to be much 
company for him, except Mary Jane the red-headed one ; and so he was 
kinder lonesome after George and his wife died, and didn't seem to care much 
to live. He most desperately wanted to see Harvey and William too, for that 
matter because he was one of them kind that can't bear to make a will. He 
left a letter behind for Harvey, and said he'd told in it where his money was 
hid, and how he wanted the rest of the property divided up so George's g'yirls 
would be all right for George didn't leave nothing. And that letter was all 
they could get him to put a pen to." 

" Why do you reckon Harvey don't come ? Wher' does he live ? " 

" Oh, he lives in England Sheffield preaches there hasn't ever been in this 



country. He hasn't had any too much time and besides he mightn't a got the 
letter at all, you know." 

" Too bad, too bad he couldn't a lived to see his brothers, poor soul. You 
going to Orleans, you say ?" 

" Yes, but that ain't only a part of it. I'm going in a ship, next Wednesday, 
for Ryo Janeero, where my uncle lives." 

" It's a pretty long journey. But it'll be lovely ; I wisht I was agoing. Is 
Mary Jane the oldest ? How old is the others ? " 

^.'iSf.^m .- /-.';:. .- 


" Mary Jane's nineteen, Susan's fifteen, and Joanna's about fourteen that's 
the one that gives herself to good works and has a hare-lip." 

" Poor things ! to be left alone in the cold world so." 

" Well, they could be worse off. Old Peter had friends, and they ain't going 
to let them come to no harm. There's Hobson, the Babtis' preacher ; and 
Deacon Lot Hovey, and Ben Rucker, and Abner Shackleford, and Levi Bell, 
the lawyer ; and Dr. Robinson, and their wives, and the widow Bartley, and 
well, there's a lot of them ; but these are the ones that Peter was thickest with, 


and used to write about sometimes, when he wrote home ; so Harvey '11 know 
where to look for friends when he get's here." 

Well, the old man he went on asking questions till he just fairly emptied 
that young fellow. Blamed if he didn't inquire about everybody and everything 
in that blessed town, and all about all the Wilkses ; and about Peter's business 
which was a tanner ; and about George's which was a carpenter ; and about 
Harvey's which was a dissentering minister ; and so on, and so on. Then he 

" What did you want to walk all the way up to the steamboat for ? " 

" Because she's a big Orleans boat, and I was afeard she mightn't stop there. 
When they're deep they won't stop for a hail. A Cincinnati boat will, but this 
is a St. Louis one." 

" Was Peter Wilks well off ? " 

" Oh, yes, pretty well off. He had houses and land, and it's reckoned he left 
three or four thousand in cash hid up som'ers." 

" When did you say he died ? " 

" I didn't say, but it was last night." 

"Funeral to-morrow, likely ?" 

" Yes, 'bout the middle of the day." 

" Well, it's all terrible sad ; but we've all got to go, one time or another. So 
what we want to do is to be prepared ; then we're all right." 

"Yes, sir, it's the best way. Ma used to always say that." 

When we struck the boat, she was about done loading, and pretty soon she 
got off. The king never said nothing about going aboard, so I lost my ride, 
after all. When the boat was gone, the king made me paddle up another mile 
to a lonesome place, and then he got ashore, and says : 

"Now hustle back, right off, and fetch the duke up here, and the new 
carpet-bags. And if he's gone over to t'other side, go over there and git him. 
And tell him to git himself up regardless. Shove along, now." 

I see what he was up to ; but I never said nothing, of course. When I got 
back with the duke, we hid the canoe and then they set down on a log, and the 
king told him everything, just like the young fellow had said it every last word 



of it. And all the time he was a doing it, he tried to talk like an Englishman ; 
and he done it pretty well too, for a slouch. I can't imitate him, and so I ain't 
agoing to try to ; but he really done it pretty good. Then he says : 

" How are you on the deef and dumb, Bilgewater ?" 

The duke said, leave him alone for that ; said he had played a deef and aumb 
person on the histrionic boards. So then they waited for a steamboat. 

About the middle of the afternoon a couple of little boats come along, but 
they didn't come from high enough up the river ; but at last there was a big one, 
and they hailed her. She sent out her yawl, and we went aboard, and she was 
from Cincinnati ; and when they found we only wanted to go four or five mile, 
they was booming mad, and give us 
a cussing, and said they wouldn't 
laud us. But the king was ca'm. 
He says : 

" If gentlemen kin afford to pay 
a dollar a mile apiece, to be took 
on and put off in a yawl, a steam- 
boat kin afford to carry 'em, can't 

So they softened down and said 
it was all right ; and when we 
got to the village, they yawled us 
ashore. About two dozen men 
flocked down, when they see the 
yawl a coming ; and when the king 

"Kin any of you gentlemen 
tell me wher' Mr. Peter Wilks 
lives ? " they give a glance at one 
another, and nodded their heads, 
as much as to say, " What d' I tell you : 
and gentle : 


Then one of them says, kind of soft 


" I'm sorry, sir, but the best we can do is to tell you where he did live 
yesterday evening." 

Sudden as winking, the ornery old cretur went all to smash, and fell up against 
the man, and put his chin on his shoulder, and cried down his back, and says : 

" Alas, alas, our poor brother gone, and we never got to see him ; oh, 
it's too, too hard ! " 

Then he turns around, blubbering, and makes a lot of idiotic signs to the 
duke on his hands, and blamed if he didn't drop a carpet-bag and bust out 
a-crying. If they warn't the beatenest lot, them two frauds, that ever I struck. 

Well, the mengethered around, and sympathized with them, and said all sorts 
of kind things to them, and carried their carpet-bags up the hill for them, and 
let them lean on them and cry, and told the king all about his brother's last 
moments, and the king he told it all over again on his hands to the duke, and both 
of them took on about that dead tanner like they'd lost the twelve disciples. 
Well, if ever I struck anything like it, I'm a nigger. It was enough to make 
a body ashamed of th2 human race. 



NEWS was all over town in two min- 
utes, and you could see the people 
tearing down on the run, from every 
which way, some of them putting on 
their coats as they come. Pretty soon 
we was in the middle of a crowd, and 
the noise of the tramping was like a 
soldier-march. The windows and door- 
yards was full ; and every minute 
somebody would say, over a fence : 
" Is it them ? " 

And somebody trotting along with 
the gang would answer back and say, 
" You bet it is." 

When we got to the house, the 
street in front of it was packed, and 
the three girls was standing in the 
door. Mary Jane was red-headed, 

but that don't make no difference, she was most awful beautiful, and her face 
and her eyes was all lit up like glory, she was so glad her uncles was come. The 
king he spread his arms, and Mary Jane she jumped for them, and the hare-lip 
jumped for the duke, and there they had it ! Everybody most, leastways women, 
cried for joy to see them meet again at last and have such good times. 

Then the king he hunched the duke, private I see him do it and then ho 




looked around and see the coffin, over in the corner on two chairs ; so then, him 
and the duke, with a hand across each other's shoulder, and t'other hand to their 
eyes, walked slow and solemn over there, everybody dropping back to give them 
room, and all the talk and noise stopping, people saying " Sh !" and all the men 
taking their hats off and drooping their heads, so you could a heard a pin fall. 

And when they got there, they bent over 
and looked in the coffin, and took one 
sight, and then they bust out a crying 
so you could a heard them to Orlears, 
most: and then they put their arms 
around each other's necks, and hung 
their chins over each other's shoulders ; 
and then for three minutes, or maybe 
four, I never see two men leak the way 
they done. And mind you, everybody 
was doing the same ; and the place was 
that damp I never see anything like it. 
Then one of them got on one side of the 
coffin, and t'other on t'other side, and 
they kneeled down and rested their fore- 
heads on the coffin, and let on to pray 
all to theirselves. Well, when it come 
to that, it worked the crowd like you 


never see anything like it, and so every- 
body broke down and went to sobbing right out loud the poor girls, too ; and 
every woman, nearly, went up to the girls, without saying a word, and kissed 
them, solemn, on the forehead, and then put their hand on their head, and 
looked up towards the sky, with the tears running down, and then busted out 
and went off sobbing and swabbing, and give the next woman a show. I never 
see anything so disgusting. 

Well, by-and-by the king he gets up and comes forward a little, and works 
himself up and slobbers out a speech, all full of tears and flapdoodle about its 

*l \nTNG THE " DOXOLOJER." 213 

being a sore trial for him and his poor brother to lose the diseased, and to miss 
seeing diseased alive, after the long journey of four thousand mile, but its a trial 
that's sweetened and sanctified to us by this dear sympathy and these holy tears, 
and so he thanks them out of his heart and out of his brother's heart, because 
out of their mouths they can't, words being too weak and cold, and all that kind 
of rot and slush, till it was just sickening ; and then he blubbers out a pious 
goody-goody Amen, and turns himself loose and goes to crying fit to bust. 

And the minute the words was out of his mouth somebody over in the crowd 
struck up the doxolojer, and everybody joined in with all their might, and it just 
warmed you up and made you feel as good as church letting out. Music is a 
good thing ; and after all that soul-butter and hogwash, I never see it freshen up 
things so, and sound so honest and bully. 

Then the king begins to work his jaw again, and says how him and his nieces 
would be glad if a few of the main principal friends of the family would take 
supper here with them this evening, and help set up with the ashes of the dis- 
eased ; and says if his poor brother laying yonder could speak, he knows who he 
would name, for they was names that was very dear to him, and mentioned often 
in his letters ; and so he will name the same, to-wit, as follows, vizz : Rev. Mr. 
Hobson, and Deacon Lot Hovey, and Mr. Ben Rucker, and Abner Shackleford, 
and Levi Bell, and Dr. Eobinson, and their wives, and the widow Bartley. 

Rev. Hobson and Dr. Robinson was down to the end of the town, a-huntiug 
together ; that is, I mean the doctor was shipping a sick man to t'other world, 
and the preacher was pinting him right. Lawyer Bell was away up to Louisville 
on some business. But the rest was on hand, and so they all come and shook 
hands with the king and thanked him and talked to him; and then they shook 
hands with the duke, and didn't say nothing but just kept a-smiling and bob. 
bing their heads like a passel of sapheads whilst he made all sorts of signs with his 
hands and said " Goo-goo goo-goo-goo," all the" time, like a baby that can't talk. 

So the king he blatted along, and managed to inquire about pretty much 
everybody and dog in town, by his name, and mentioned all sorts of little things 
that happened one time or another in the town, or to George's family, or to 
Peter ; and he always let on that Peter wrote him the things, but that was a lie, 


he got every blessed one of them out of that young flathcjul tliat we canoed up to 
the steamboat. 

Then Mary Jane she fetched the letter her father left behind, and the king 
he read it out loud and cried over it. It give the dwelling-house and three 
thousand dollars, gold, to the girls ; and it give the tanyard (which was doing a 
good business), along with some other houses and land (worth about seven 
thousand), and three thousand dollars in gold to Harvey and William, and told 
where the six thousand cash was hid, down cellar. So these two frauds said they'd 
go and fetch it up, and have everything square and above-board ; and told me to 
come with a candle. We shut the cellar door behind us, and when they found 
the bag they spilt it out on the floor, and it was a lovely sight, all them yaller- 
boys. My, the way the king's eyes did shine ! He slaps the duke on the 
shoulder, and says : 

"Oh, this ain't bully, nor noth'n ! Oh, no, I reckon not ! Why, Biljy, it 
beats the Nonesuch, don't it ! " 

The duke allowed it did. They pawed the yaller-boys, and sifted them 
through their fingers and let them jingle down on the floor ; and the king 

"It ain't no use talkin' ; bein' brothers to a rich dead man, and representa- 
tives of furrin heirs that's got left, is the line for you and me, Bilge. Thish-yer 
comes of trust'n to Providence. It's the best way, in the long run. I've tried 
'em all, and ther' ain't no better way." 

Most everybody would a been satisfied with the pile, and took it on trust ; but 
no, they must count it. So they counts it, and it comes out four hundred and 
fifteen dollars short. Says the king : 

"Bern him, I wonder what he done with that four hunderd and fifteen 

They worried over that a while, and ransacked all around for it. Then the 
duke says : 

" Well, he was a pretty sick man, and likely he made a mistake I reckon 
that's the way of it. The best way's to let it go, and keep still about it. We 
can spare it." 



'' Oh, shucks, yes, we can spare it. I don't k'yer noth'n 'bout that it's 
the count I'm thinkin' about. We want to be awful square and open and above- 
board, here, you know. We 
want to lug this h-yer money up 
stairs and count it before every- 
body then ther' ain't noth'n 
suspicious. But when the dead 
man says ther's six thous'n dol- 
lars, you know, we don't want 
to " 

"Hold on," says the dnke. 
"Less make up the deffisit" 
and he begun to haul out yaller- 
boys out of his pocket. 

" It's a most amaz'n' good idea, 
duke you have got a. rattlin' 
clever head on you/' says the 
king. "Blest if the old None- 
such ain't a heppin' us out agin " 
and he begnn to haul out yaller- 
jackets and stack them up. 

It most busted them, but they 
made up the six thousand clean and clear. 

" Say," says the duke, " I got another idea. Le's go up stairs and count this 
money, and then take and give it to the girls." 

" Good land, duke, lemme hug you ! It's the most dazzling idea 'at ever a 
man struck. You have cert'nly got the most astonishin' head I ever see. Oh, 
this is the boss dodge, ther' ain't no mistake 'bout it. Let 'em fetch along their 
suspicions now, if they want to this'll lay 'em out." 

When we got up stairs, everybody gethered around the table, and the king he 
counted it and stacked it up, three hundred dollars in a pile twenty elegant 
little piles. Everybody looked hungry at it, and licked their chops. Then they 


<>! HlTKLKIiKRltY /-Y.V.V. 


raked it into the bag again, and I see the king begin to swell himself up for 
another speech. He ssiys : 

" Friends all, my poor brother that lays yonder, has done generous by them 
that's left behind in the vale of sorrers. He has done generous by these-yer poor 
little lambs that he loved and sheltered, and that's left fatherless and motherless. 
Yes, and we that knowed him, knows that he would a done more generous by 'em 
if he hadn't ben afeard o' woundin' his dear William and me. Now, wouldn't 
he? Ther' ain't no question 'bout it, in my mind. Well, then what kind o' 
brothers would it be, that 'd stand in his way at sech a time ? And what kind 
o' uncles would it be that 'd rob yes, rob sech poor sweet lambs as these 'at he 

loved so, at sech a time ? If I know 
William and I think I do he 
well, I'll jest ask him." He turns 
around and begins to make a lot of 
signs to the duke with his hands ; 
and the duke he looks at him stupid 
and leather-headed a while, then all 
of a sudden he seems to catch his 
meaning, and jumps for the king, 
goo-gooing with all his might for joy, 
and hugs him about fifteen times 
before he lets up. Then the king 
says, " I knowed it ; I reckon that 
'11 convince anybody the way he feels 
about it. Here, Mary Jane, Susan, 
Joanner, take the money take it 
all. It's the gift of him that lays 
yonder, cold but joyful." 

Mary Jane she went for him, 
Susan and the hare-lip went for the duke, and then such another hugging and 
kissing I never see yet. And everybody crowded up with the tears in their 
eyes, and most shook the hands off of them frauds, saying all the time : 



" You dear good souls ! how lovely ! how cowJe? you !" 

Well, then, pretty soon all hands got to talking about the diseased again, and 
how good he was, and what a loss he was, and all that ; and before long a big 
iron-jawed man worked himself in there from outside, and stood a listening and 
looking, and not saying anything ; and nobody saying anything to him either, 
because the king was talking and they was all busy listening. The king was say- 
ing in the middle of something he'd started in on 

" they bein' partickler friends o' the diseased. That's why they're invited here 
this evenin' ; but to-morrow we want all to come everybody ; for he respected 
everybody, he liked everybody, and so it's fitten that his funeral orgiess h'd be public." 

And so he went a-mooning on and on, liking to hear himself talk, and every 
little while he fetched in his funeral orgies again, till the duke he couldn't stand 
it no more ; so he writes on a little scrap of paper, " obsequies, you old fool," and 
folds it up and goes to goo-gooing and reaching it over people's heads to him. 
The king he reads it, and puts it in his pocket, and says : 

" Poor William, afflicted as he is, his heart's aluz right. Asks me to invite 
everybody to come to the funeral wants me to make 'em all welcome. But he 
needn't a worried it was jest what I was at." 

Then he weaves along again, perfectly ca'm, and goes to dropping in his 
funeral orgies again every now and then, just like he done before. And when he 
done it the third time, he says : 

" I say orgies, not because it's the common term, because it ain't obsequies 
bein' the common term but because orgies is the right term. Obsequies ain't 
used in England no more, now it's gone out. We say orgies now, in England. 
Orgies is better, because it means the thing you're after, more exact. It's a word 
that's made up out'n the Greek orgo, outside, open, abroad ; and the Hebrew 
jeesum, to plant, cover up ; hence inter. So, you see, funeral orgies is an open er 
public funeral." 

He was the worst I ever struck. Well, the iron-jawed man he laughed right 
in his face. Everybody was shocked. Everybody says, "Why doctor /" and 
Abner Shackleford says: 

"Why, Robinson, hain't you heard the news ? This is Harvey Wilks." 



The king he smiled eager, and shoved out his flapper, and says : 
" Is it my poor brother's dear good friend and physician ? I 
"Keep your hands off of me ! " says the doctor. " You talk like an English- 
man don't you ? It's the worse imitation I ever heard. You Peter Wilks's 

brother. You're a fraud, that's what you are ! " 

Well, how they all took on ! They crowded around the doctor, and tried to 

quiet him down, and tried to explain to him, 
and tell him how Harvey'd showed in forty 
ways that he ivas Harvey, and knowed every- 
body by name, and the names of the very 
dogs, and begged and begged him not to hurt 
Harvey's feelings and the poor girls' feelings, 
and all that; but it warn't no use, he 
stormed right along, and said any man that 
pretended to be an Englishman and couldn't 
imitate the lingo no better than what he did, 
was a fraud and a liar. The poor girls was 
hanging to the king and crying ; and all of a 
sudden the doctor ups and turns on them. 
He says : 

" I was your father's friend, and I'm your 
friend ; and I warn you as a friend, and an 
honest one, that wants to protect you and 
keep you out of harm and trouble, to turn 
your backs on that scoundrel, and have 
nothing to do with him, the ignorant tramp, 

with his idiotic Greek and Hebrew as he calls it. He is the thinnest kind of an 
impostor has come here with a lot of empty names and facts which he has picked 
up somewheres, and you take them for proofs, and are helped to fool yourselves 
by these foolish friends here, who ought to know better. Mary Jane Wilks, you 
know me for your friend, and for your unselfish friend, too. Now listen to me ; 
turn this pitiful rascal out I leg you to do it. Will you ? " 



Mary June straightened herself up, and my, but she was handsome ! She 
says : 

" Here is my answer." She hove up the bag of money and put it in the 
king's hands, and says, " Take this six thousand dollars, and invest for me and 
my sisters any way you want to, and don't give us no receipt for it." 

Then she put her arm around the king on one side, and Susan and the hare- 
lip done the same on the other. Everybody clapped their hands and stomped on 
the floor like a perfect storm, whilst the king held up his head and smiled proud. 
The doctor says : 

"All right, I wash my hands of the matter. But I warn you all that a time's 
coming when you're going to feel sick whenever you think of this day " and 
away he went. 

"All right, doctor," says the king, kinder mocking him, "we'll try and get 
'em to send for you " which made them all laugh, and they said it was a prime 
good hit. 


when they was all gone, the king he asks 
Mary Jane how they was off for spare 
rooms, and she said she had one spare 
room, which would do for Uncle 
William, and she'd give her own room 
to Uncle Harvey, which was a little 
bigger, and she would turn into the 
room with her sisters and sleep on a 
cot ; and up garret was a little cubby, 
with a pallet in it. The king said the 
cubby would do for his valley mean- 
ing me. 

So Mary Jane took us up, and 
she showed them their rooms, 
which was plain but nice. She said 
she'd have her frocks and a lot of 
other traps took out of her room if 
they was in Uncle Harvey's way, but 

he said they warn't. The frocks was hung along the wall, and before them was 
a curtain made out of calico that hung down to the floor. There was an old hair 
trunk in one corner, and a guitar box in another, and all sorts of little knick- 
knacks and jimcracks around, like girls brisken up a room with. The king said it 
was all the more homely and more pleasanter for these fixings, and so don't dis- 
turb them. The duke's room was pretty small, but plenty good enough, and so 
was my cubby. 

That night they had a big supper, and all them men and women was there, 



and I stood behind the king and the duke's chairs and waited on them, and the 
niggers waited on the rest. Mary Jane she set at the head of the table, with 
Susan along side of her, and said how bad the biscuits was, and how mean the 
preserves was, and how ornery and 
tough the fried chickens was and 
all that kind of rot, the way 
women always do for to force out 
compliments ; and the people all 
knowed everything was tip-top, 
and said so said " How do you 
get biscuits to brown so nice ? " 
and "Where, for the land's sake 
did you get these amaz'n pick- 
les?" and all that kind of hum- 
bug talky-talk, just the way 
people always does at a supper, 
you know. 

And when it was all done, me 
and the hare-lip had supper in the 
kitchen off of the leavings, whilst 
the others was helping the niggers 
clean up the things. The hare-lip 
she got to pumping me about 

England, and blest if I didn't think the ice was getting mighty thin, sometimes. 
She says : 

" Did you ever see the king ? " 

"Who ? William Fourth ? Well, I bet I have he goes to our church." I 
knowed he was dead years ago, but I never let on. So when I says he goes to 
our church, she says : 

"What regular?" 

" Yes regular. His pew's right over opposite ourn on 'tother side the 


"I thought he lived m London ?" 

" Well, he does. Where would he live ?" 

"But I thought you lived in Sheffield ?" 

I see I was up a stump. I had to let on to get choked with a chicken bone, 
so as to get time to think how to get down again. Then I says : 

" I mean he goes to our church regular when he's in Sheffield. That's only 
in the summer-time, when he comes there to take the sea baths." 

" Why, how you talk Sheffield ain't on the sea." 

" Well, who said it was ? " 

"Why, you did." 

"I didn't, nuther." 

"You did!" 

"I didn't." 

" You did." 

" I never said nothing of the kind." 

" Well, what did you say, then ? " 

" Said he come to take the sea laths that's what I said." 

"Well, then ! how's he going to take the sea baths if it ain't on the sea ?" 

" Looky here," I says ; " did you ever see any Congress water ? " 


" Well, did you have to go to Congress to get it ? " 

" Why, no." 

-"Well, neither does William Fourth have to go to the sea to get a sea bath." 

"How does he get it, then ?" 

" Gets it the way people down here gets Congress-water in barrels. There in 
the palace at Sheffield they've got furnaces, and he wants his water hot. They 
can't bile that amount of water away off there at the sea. They haven't got no 
conveniences for it." 

" Oh, I see, now. You might a said that in the first place and saved 

When she said that, I see I was out of the woods again, and so I was comfort- 
able and glad. Next, she says : 


"Do you go to church, too ?" 

" Yes regular." 

" Where do you set ?" 

" Why, in our pew." 

" Whose pew ?" 

" Why, ourn your Uncle Harvey's." 

"His'n ? What does he want with a pew ? " 

" Wants it to set in. What did you reckon he wanted with it ?" 

"Why, I thought he'd be in the pulpit." 

Eot him, I forgot he was a preacher. I see I was up a stump again, so I 
played another chicken bone and got another think. Then I says : 

" Blame it, do you suppose there ain't but one preacher to a church ? " 

" Why, what do they want with more ? " 

" What ! to preach before a king ? I never see such a girl as you. They 
don't have no less than seventeen." 

"Seventeen ! My land ! 'Why, I wouldn't set out such a string as that, 
not if I never got to glory. It must take 'em a week." 

" Shucks, they don't all of 'em preach the same day only one of 'em." 

" Well, then, what does the rest of 'em do ? " 

" Oh, nothing much. Loll around, pass the plate and one thing or another. 
But mainly they don't do nothing." 

" Well, then, what are they for 9 " 

" Why, they're for style. Don't you know nothing ?" 

" Well, I don't want to know no such foolishness as that. How is servants 
treated in England ? Do they treat 'em better 'n we treat our niggers ? " 

" No! A servant ain't nobody there. They treat them worse than dogs." 

" Don't they give 'em holidays, the way we do, Christmas and New Year's 
week, and Fourth of July ? " 

" Oh, just listen ! A body could tell you hain't ever been to England, 
by that. Why, Hare-1 why, Joanna, they never see a holiday from year's 
end to year's end ; never go to the circus, nor theatre, nor nigger shows, nor 



"Nor church ?" 
"Nor church." 

"But you always went to church." 

Well, I was gone up again. I forgot I was the old man's servant. But next 

minute I whirled in on a kind 
of an explanation how a valley 
was different from a common 
servant, and had to go to 
church whether he wante:! 
to or not, and set with the 
family, on account of it's 
being the law. But I didn't 
do it pretty good, and when I 
got done I see she warn't 
satisfied. She says : 

" Honest injun, now, 
hain't you been telling me a 
lot of lies?" 

" Honest injun," says I. 

"None of it at all?" 

" None of it at all. Not a 
lie in it," says I. 

" Lay your hand on this 

HO* ES T ,." book and sa J it-" 

I see it warn't nothing but 

a dictionary, so I laid my hand on it and said it. So then she looked a little 
better satisfied, and says : 

"Well, then, I'll believe some of it ; but I hope to gracious if I'll believe the 

"What is it you won't believe, Joe?" says Mary Jane, stepping in with 
.Susan behind her. " It ain't right nor kind for you to talk so to him, and him 
;i stranger and so far from his people. How would you like to be treated so ? " 


" That's always your way, Maim always sailing in to help somebody before 
they're hurt. I hain't done nothing to him. He's told some stretchers, I 
reckon ; and I said I wouldn't swallow it all ; and that's every bit and grain I 
did say. I reckon he can stand a little thing like that, can't he ? " 

" I don't care whether 'twas little or whether 'twas big, he's here in our house 
and a stranger, and it wasn't good of you to say it. If you was in his place, it' 
would make you feel ashamed ; and so -you oughtn't to say a thing to another 
person that will make them feel ashamed." 

11 Why, Maim, he said " 

" It don't make no difference what he said that ain't the thing. The thing 
is for you to treat him kind, and not be saying things to make him remember he 
ain't in his own country and amongst his own folks." 

I says to myself, this is a girl that I'm letting that old reptle rob her of her 
money ! 

Then Susan she waltzed in ; and if you'll believe me, she did give Hare-lip 
hark from the tomb ! 

Says I to myself, And this is another one that I'm letting him rob her of her 
money ! 

Then Mary Jane she took another inning, and went in sweet and lovely again 
which was her way but when she got done there warn't hardly anything left o' 
poor Hare-lip. So she hollered. 

"All right, then," says the other girls, "you just ask his pardon." 

She done it, too. And she done it beautiful. She done it so beautiful it was 
good to hear ; and I wished I could tell her a thousand lies, so she could do it 

I says to myself, this is another one that I'm letting him rob her of her 
money. And when she got through, they all jest laid theirselves out to make me 
feel at home and know I was amongst friends. I felt so ornery and low down 
and mean, that I says to myself, My mind's made up ; I'll hive that money for 
them or bust. 

So then I lit out for bed, I said, meaning some time or another. When I 
got by myself, I went to thinking the thing over. I says to myself, shall I go 



to that doctor, private, and blow on these frauds ? No that won't do. He 
might tell who told him ; then the king and the duke would make it warm for 
me. Shall I go, private, and tell Mary Jane ? No I dasn't do it. Her face 
would give them a hint, sure ; they've got the money, and they'd slide right out 
and get away with it. If she was to fetch in help, I'd get mixed up in the 
ousiness, before it was done with, I judge. No, there ain't no good way but one. 


I got to steal that money, somehow ; and I got to steal it some way that they 
won't suspicion that I done it. They've got a good thing, here ; and they ain't 
agoing to leave till they've played this family and this town for all they're worth, 
so I'll find a chance time enough. I'll steal it, and hide it ; and by-and-by, when 
I'm away down the river, I'll 1 write a letter and tell Mary Jane where it's hid. 
But I better hive it to-night, if I can, because the doctor maybe hasn't let up as 
much as he lets on he has ; he might scare them out of here, yet. 

So, thinks I, I'll go and search them rooms. Up stairs the hall was dark, but 


I found the duke's room, and started to paw around it with my hands ; but I 
recollected it wouldn't be much like the king to let anybody else take care of 
that money but his own self ; so then I went to his room and begun to paw 
around there. But I see I couldn't do nothing without a candle, and I dasn't 
light one, of course. So I judged I'd got to do the other thing lay for them, 
and eavesdrop. About that time, I hears their footsteps coming, and was going 
to skip under the bed ; I reached for it, but it wasn't where I thought it would 
be ; but I touched the curtain that hid Mary Jane's frocks, so I jumped in 
behind that and snuggled in amongst the gowns, and stood there perfectly 

The} T come in and shut the door ; and the first thing the duke done was to 
get down and look under the bed. Then I was glad I hadn't found the bed 
when I wanted it. And yet, you know, it's kind of natural to hide under 
the bed when you are up to anything private. They sets down, then, and the 
king says : 

" Well, what is it ? and cut it middlin' short, because it's better for us to be 
down there a whoopin'-up the mournin', than up here givin' 'em a chance to talk 
us over." 

" Well, this is it, Capet. I ain't easy ; I ain't comfortable. That doctor 
lays on my mind. I wanted to know your plans. I've got a notion, and I think 
it's a sound one." 

"What is it, duke?" 

" That we better glide out of this, before three in the morning, and clip it 
down the river with what we've got. Specially, seeing we got it so easy given 
back to us, flung at our heads, as you may say, when of course we allowed to have 
to steal it back. I'm for knocking off and lighting out." 

That made me feel pretty bad. About an hour or two ago, it would a been a 
little different, but now it made me feel bad and disappointed. The king rips 
out and says : 

" What ! And not sell out the rest o' the property ? March. off like a pas- 
sel o' fools and leave eight or nine thous'n' dollars' worth o' property layin' around 
jest sufferin' to be scooped in ? and all good salable stuff, too." 


The duke he grumbled ; said the bag of gold was enough, and he didn't want 
to go no deeper didn't want to rob a lot of orphans of everything they had. 

" Why, how you talk ! " says the king. " We shan't rob 'em of nothing at 
all but jest this money. The people that buys the property is the suff'rers ; 
because as soon's it's found out 'at we didn't own it which won't be long after 
we've slid the sale won't be valid, and it'll all go back to the estate. These-yer 
orphans '11 git their house back agin, and that's enough for them; they're young 
and spry, and k'n easy earn a livin'. They ain't agoing to suffer. Why, jest 
think there's thous'n's and thous'n's that ain't nigh so well off. Bless you, they 
ain't got noth'n to complain of." 

Well, the king he talked him blind ; so at last he give in, and said all right, 
but said he believed it was blame foolishness to stay, and that doctor hanging 
over them. But the king says : 

" Cuss the doctor ! What do we k'yer for him ? Hain't we got all the fools 
in town on our side ? and ain't that a big enough majority in any town ? " 

So they got ready to go down stairs again. The duke says : 

"I don't think we put that money in a good place." 

That cheered me up. I'd begun to think I wafn't going to get a hint of no 
kind to help me. The king says : 


"Because Mary Jane '11 be in mourning from this out ; and first you know 
the nigger that does up the rooms will get an order to box these duds up and 
put 'em away ; and do you reckon a nigger can run across money and not borrow 
some of it ? " 

" Your head's level, agin, duke," says the king ; and he come a fumbling under 
the curtain two or three foot from where I was. I stuck tight to the wall, and 
kept mighty still, though quivery ; and I wondered what them fellows would say 
to me if they catched me ; and I tried to think what I'd better do if they did 
catch me. But the king he got the bag before I could think more than about 
a half a thought, and he never suspicioned I was around. They took and 
shoved the bag through a rip in the straw tick that was under the feather bed, 
and crammed it in a foot or two amongst the straw and said it was all right, now, 



because a nigger only makes up the feather bed, and don't turn over the straw 
tick only about twice a year, 
and so it warn't in no danger 
of getting stole, now. 

But I knowed better. I 
had it out of there before 
they was half-way down 
stairs. I groped along up to 
my cubby, and hid it there 
till I could get a chance to 
do better. I judged I better 
hide it outside of the house 
somewheres, because if they 
missed it they would give 
the house a good ransacking. 
I knowed that very well. 
Then I turned in, with my 
clothes all on ; but I couldn't 
a gone to sleep, if I'd a 
wanted to, I was in such a 

sweat to get through with the business. By-and-by I heard the king and the 
duke come up ; so I rolled off of my pallet and laid with my chin at the top of 
my ladder and waited to see if anything was going to happen. But nothing 

So I held on till all the late sounds had quit and the early ones hadn't begun, 
vet ; and then I slipped down the ladder. 


crept to their doors and listened ; 
they was snoring, so I tip-toed along, 
and got down stairs all right. There 
warn't a sound anywheres. I peeped 
through a crack of the dining-room 
door, and see the men that was watch- 
ing the corpse all sound asleep on 
their chairs. The door was open 
into the parlor, where the corpse 
was laying, and there was a candle 
in both rooms. I passed along, and 
the parlor door was open; but I see 
there warn't nobody in there but the 
remainders of Peter ; so I shoved on 
by ; but the front door was locked, 
and the key wasn't there. Just 
then I heard somebody coming down 

the stairs, back behind me. I run in the parlor, and took a swift look around, 
and the only place I see to hide the bag was in the coffin. The lid was shoved 
along about a foot, showing the dead man's face down in there, with a wet cloth 
over it, and his shroud on. I tucked the money-bag in under the lid, just 
down beyond where his hands was crossed, which made me creep, they was 
so cold, and then I run back across the room and in behind the door. 

The person coming was Mary Jane. She went to the coffin, very soft, and 



kneeled down and looked in ; then she put up her handkerchief and I see she 
begun to cry, though I couldn't hear her, and her back was to me. I slid out, 
and as I passed the dining-room I thought I'd make sure them watchers 
hadn't seen me ; so I looked through the crack and everything was all right. 
They hadn't stirred. 

I slipped up to bed, feeling ruther blue, on accounts of the thing playing 
out that way after I had took so much trouble and run so much resk about it. 
Says I, if it could stay where it is, all right ; because when we get down the 
river a hundred mile or two, I could write back to Mary Jane, and she could 
dig him up again and get it ; but that ain't the thing that's going to happen; 
the thing that's going to happen is, the money '11 be found when they come to 
screw on the lid. Then the king '11 get it again, and it '11 be a long day before 
he gives anybody another chance to smouch it from him. Of course I wanted 
to slide down and get it out of there, but I dasn't try it. Every minute it was 
getting earlier, now, and pretty soon some of them watchers would begin to stir, 
and I might get catched catched with six thousand dollars in my hands that 
nobody hadn't hired me to take care of. I don't wish to be mixed up in no such 
business as that, I says to myself. 

When I got down stairs in the morning, the parlor was shut up, and the 
watchers was gone. There warn't nobody around but the family and the widow 
Bartley and our tribe. I watched their faces to see if anything had been happen- 
ing, but I couldn't tell. 

Towards the middle of the day the undertaker come, with his man, and they 
set the coffin in the middle of the room on a couple of chairs, and then set all 
our chairs in rows, and borrowed more from the neighbors till the hall and the 
parlor and the dining-room was full. I see the coffin lid was the way it was 
before, but I dasn't go to look in under it, with folks around. 

Then the people begun to flock in, and the beats and the girls took seats in 
the front row at the head of the coffin, and for a half an hour the people filed 
around slow, in single rank, and looked down at the dead man's face a minute, 
and some dropped in a tear, and it was all very still and solemn, only the girls 
and the beats holding handkerchiefs to their eyes and keeping their heads bent, 


and sobbing a little. There warn't no other sound but the scraping of the feet 
on the floor, and blowing noses because people always blows them more at a 
funeral than they do at other places except church. 

When the place was packed full, the undertaker he slid around in his black 
gloves with his softy soothering ways, putting on the 
last touches, and getting people and things all ship- 
shape and comfortable, and making no more sound 
than a cat. He never spoke ; he moved people 
around, he squeezed in late ones, he opened up 
passage-ways, and done it all with nods, and signs 
with his hands. Then he took his place over against 
the wall. He was the softest, glidingest, stealthiest 
man I ever see ; and there warn't no more smile to 
him than there is to a ham. 

They had borrowed a melodeum a sick one ; and 
when everything was ready, a young woman set 
down and worked it, and it was pretty skreeky and 
colicky, and everybody joined in and sung, and 
Peter was the only one that had a good thing, ac- 
cording to my notion. Then the Reverend Hobson 
opened up, slow and solemn, and begun to talk ; 
and straight off the most outrageous row busted out 
in the cellar a body ever heard; it was only one dog, 
but he made a most powerful racket, and he kept it 

up, right along; the parson he had to stand there, over the coffin, and wait you 
couldn't hear yourself think. It was right down awkward, and nobody didn't 
seem to know what to do. But pretty soon they see that long-legged undertaker 
make a sign to the preacher as much as to say, " Don't you worry just depend 
on me." Then he stooped down and begun to glide along the wall, just his 
shoulders showing over the people's heads. So he glided along, and the pow-wow 
and racket getting more and more outrageous all the time ; and at last, when he 
had gone around two sides of the room, he disappears down cellar. Then, in 



about two seconds we heard a whack, and the dog he finished up with a most 
amazing howl or two, and then everything was dead still, and the parson begun 
his solemn talk where he left off. In a minute or two here comes this under- 
taker's back and shoulders gliding along the wall again; and so he glided, and 
glided, around three sides of the room, and then rose up, and shaded his mouth 
with his hands, and stretched his neck out towards the preacher, over the people's 
heads, and says, in a kind of a coarse whisper, "He had a rat!" Then he droop- 
ed down and glided along 
the wall again to his place. 
You could see it was a great 
satisfaction to the people, 
because natural^ they want- 
ed to know. A little thing 
like that don't cost nothing, 
and it's just the little things 
that makes a man to be look- 
ed up to and liked. There 
warn't no more popular man 
in town than what that 
undertaker was. 

"Well, the funeral sermon 
was very good, but pison 

long and tiresome ; and then the king he shoved in and got off some of his usual 
rubbage, and at last the job was through, and the undertaker begun to sneak up 
on the coffin with his screw-driver. I was in a sweat then, and watched him 
pretty keen. But he never meddled at all ; just slid the lid along, as soft as 
mush, and screwed it down tight and fast. So there I was ! I didn't know 
whether the money was in there, or not. So, says I, spose somebody has hogged 
that bag on the sly ? now how do /know whether to write to Mary Jane or not? 
'Spose she dug him up and didn't find nothing what would she think of me ? 
Blame it, I says, I might get hunted up and jailed ; I'd better lay low and keep 
dark, and not write at all ; the thing's awful mixed, now ; trying to better it, I've 



worsened it a hundred times, and I wish to goodness I'd just let it alone, dad 
fetch the whole business ! 

They buried him, and we come back home, and I went to watching faces 
again I couldn't help it, and I couldn't rest easy. But nothing come of it ; the 
faces didn't tell me nothing. 

The king he visited around, in the evening, and sweetened every body up, and 
made himself ever so friendly; and he give out the idea that his congregration over 
in England would be in a sweat about him, so he must hurry and settle up the 
estate right away, and leave for home. He was very sorry he was so pushed, 
and so was everybody; they wished he could stay longer, but they said they could 
see it couldn't be done. And he said of course him and William would take the 
girls home with them ; and that pleased everybody too, because then the girls 
would be well fixed, and amongst their own relations ; and it pleased the girls, 
too tickled them so they clean forgot they ever had a trouble in the world; and told 
him to sell out as quick as he wanted to, they would be ready. Them poor things 
was that glad and happy it made my heartache to see them getting fooled and lied 
to so, but I didn't see no safe way for me to chip in and change the general tuiie. 

"Well, blamed if the king didn't bill the house and the niggers and all the 
property for auction straight off sale two days after the funeral ; but anybody 
could buy private beforehand if they wanted to. 

So the next day after the funeral, along about noontime, the girls' joy got the 
first jolt ; a couple of nigger traders come along, and the king sold them the 
niggers reasonable, for three-day drafts as they called it, and away they went, 
the two sons up the river to Memphis, and their mother down the river to 
Orleans. I thought them poor girls and them niggers would break their hearts 
for grief ; they cried around each other, and took on so it most made me down 
sick to see it. The girls said they hadn't ever dreamed of seeing the family 
separated or sold away from the town. I can't ever get it out of my memory, 
the sight of them poor miserable girls and niggers hanging around each other's 
necks and crying ; and I reckon I couldn't a stood it all but would a had to bust 
out and tell on our gang if I hadn't knowed the sale warii't no account and the 
niggers would be back home in a week or two. 



The thing made a big stir in the town, too, and a good many come out flat- 
footed and said it was scandalous to separate the mother and the children that 
way. It injured the frauds 

some; but the old fool he _- \ < \\ 

bulled right along, spite of 
all the duke could say or do, 
and I tell you the duke was 
powerful uneasy. 

Next day was auction day. 
About broad-day in the morn- 
ing, the king and the duke 
come up in the garret and 
woke me up, and I see by 
their look that there was 
trouble. The king says : 

" Was you in my room 
night before last ?" 

"'No, your majesty" 
which was the way I always 
called him when nobody but 
our gang warn't around. 

" "Was you in there yister- 
day er last night ? " 

' f No, your majesty. " 

" Honor bright, now no lies." 

" Honor bright, your majesty, I'm telling you the truth. I hain't been anear 
your room since Miss Mary Jane took you and the duke and showed it to 

The duke says : 

" Have you seen anybody else go in there ? " 

" No, your grace, not as I remember, I believe." 

" Stop and think." 



I studied a while, and see my chance, then I says : 

" Well, I see the niggers go in there several times." 

Both of them give a little jump ; and looked like they hadn't ever expected it, 
and then like they had. Then the duke says : 

"What, all of them?" 

" Xo leastways not all at once. That is, I don't think I ever see them all 
come out at once but just one time." 

" Hello when was that ? " 

" It was the day we had the funeral. In the morning. It warn't early, 
because I overslept. I was just starting down the ladder, and I see 

" Well* go on, go on what did they do ? How'd they act ? " 

" They didn't do nothing. And they didn't act anyway, much, as fur as I see. 
They tip-toed away; so I seen, easy enough, that they'd shoved in there to do 
up your majesty's room, or something, sposing you was up; and found you warn't 
up, and so they was hoping to slide out of the way of trouble without waking you 
up, if they hadn't already waked you up." 

" Great guns, this is a go ! " says the king ; and both of them looked pretty 
sick, and tolerable silly. They stood there a thinking and scratching their heads, 
a minute, and then the duke he bust into a kind of a little raspy chuckle, and 

" It does beat all, how neat the niggers played their hand. They let on to 
be sorry they was going out of this region ! and I believed they was sorry. And 
so did you, and so did everybody. Don't ever tell me any more that a nigger ain't 
got any histrionic talent. Why, the way they played that thing, it would fool 
anybody. In my opinion there's a fortune in 'em. If I had capital and a 
theatre, I wouldn't want a better lay out than that and here we've gone and sold 
'em for a song. Yes, and ain't privileged to sing the song, yet. Say, where is 
that song? that draft." 

" In the bank for to be collected. Where would it be ?" 

" Well, thai? s all right then, thank goodness." 

Says I, kind of timid-like : 



" Is something gone wrong ? " 

The king whirls on me and rips out : 

"None o' your business! You keep your head she fc, and mind y'r own 
affairs if you got any. Long as you're in this town, don't you forgit that, you 
hear ? " Then he says to the duke, " We got to jest swaller it, and say noth'n : 
mum's the word for us." 

As they was starting down the ladder, the duke he chuckles again, and 
says : 

" Quick sales and small profits ! It's a good business yes." 

The king snarls around on him and says , 

"I was trying to do for the best, in sellin' 'm cut so quick. If the profits has 

turned out to be none, lackin' considable, and none to carry, is it my fault any 
more'n it's yourn ? " 

" Well, they'd be in this house yet, and we wouldn't if I could a got my 
advice listened to." 

The king sassed back, as much as was safe for him, and then swapped around 
and lit into me again. He give me down the banks for not coming and telling 
him I see the niggers come out of his room acting that way said any fool would 


a knowed something was up. And then waltzed in and cnssed himself a while ; 
and said it all come of him not laying late and taking his natural rest that morn- 
ing, and he'd be blamed if he'd ever do it again. So they went off a jawing; and 
I felt dreadful glad I'd worked it all off onto the niggers and yet hadn't done the 
niggers no harm by it. 

and-by it was getting-up time ; so I 
come down the ladder and started 
for down stairs, but as I come to the 
girls' room, the door was open, and I 
see Mary Jane setting by her old hair 
trunk, which was open and she'd 
been packing things in it getting 
ready to go to England. But she 
had stopped now, with a folded 
gown in her lap, and had her face in 
her hands, crying. I felt awful bad 
to see it ; of course anybody would. 
I went in there, and says : 

" Miss Mary Jane, you can't 
abear to see people in trouble, and / 
can't most always. Tell me about 

So she done it. And it was the 

niggers I just expected it. She said the beautiful trip to England was most 
about spoiled for her ; she didn't know how she was ever going to be happy there, 
knowing the mother and the children warn't ever going to see each other no 
more and then busted out bitterer than ever, and flung up her hands, and 


11 Oh, dear, dear, to think they ain't ever going to see each other any more ! " 

" But they will and inside of two weeks and I know it ! " says I. 

Laws it was out before I could think ! and before I could budge, she throws 
her arms around my neck, and told me to say it again, say it again, say it again! 

I see I had spoke too sudden, and said too much, and was in a close place. I 
asked her to let me think a minute ; and she set there, very impatient 
and excited, and handsome, but looking kind of happy and eased-up, like 
a person that's had a tooth pulled out. So I went to studying it out. 
I says to myself, I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he 
is in a tight place, is taking considerable many resks, though I ain't had no 
experience, and can't say for certain ; but it looks so to me, anyway ; and yet 
here's a case where I'm blest if it don't look to me like the truth is better, 
and actuly safer, than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over 
some time or other, it's so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing 
like it. Well, I says to myself at last, I'm agoing to chance it ; I'll up and tell 
the truth this time, though it does seem most like setting down on a kag of 
powder and touching it off just to see where you'll go to. Then I says : 

"Miss Mary Jane, is there any place out of town a little ways, where you 
could go and stay three or four days ? " 

" Yes Mr. Lothrop's. Why ? " 

" Never mind why, yet. If I'll tell you how I know the niggers will see each 
other again inside of two weeks here in this house and prove how I know it 
will you go to Mr. Lothrop's and stay four days ? " 

" Four days ! " she says ; " I'll stay a year ! " 

"All right," I says, "I don't want nothing more out of you than just your 
word I druther have it than another man's kiss-the-Bible." She smiled, and 
reddened up very sweet, and I says, " If you don't mind it, I'll shut the door 
and bolt it." 

Then I come back and set down again, and says : 

"Don't you holler. Just set still, and take it like a man. I got to tell the 
truth, and you want to brace up, Miss Mary, because it's a bad kind, and going to 
be hard to take, but there ain't no help for it. These uncles of yourn ain't no 



uncles at all they're a couples of frauds regular dead-beats. There, now we're 
over the worst of it you can stand the rest middling easy." 

It jolted her up like everything, of course ; but I was over the shoal water 
now, so I went right along, her eyes a blazing higher and higher all the time, 
and told her every blame thing, from where we first struck that young fool going 
up to the steamboat, clear through to where she flung herself onto 'the king's 

breast at the front door and he kissed her sixteen or seventeen times and then 

up she jumps, with her face afire like sunset, and says : 

" The brute ! Come don't waste a minute 
not a second we'll have them tarred and 
feathered, and flung in the river ! " 

Says I : 

" Cert'nly. But do you mean, before you go 
to Mr. Lothrop's, or " 

" Oh," she says, " what am I thinking about ! " 
she says, and set right down again. "Don't mind 
what I said please don't you won't, now, will 
you ? " Laying her silky hand on mind in that 
kind of a way that I said I would die first. " I 
never thought, I was so stirred up," she says ; 
" now go on, and I won't do so any more. You tell 
me what to do, and whatever you say, I'll do it." fe 

"Well," I says, "it's a rough gang, them two 
frauds, and I'm fixed so I got to travel with them 
a while longer, whether I want to or not I 
druther not tell you why and if you was to blow 
on them this town would get me out of their claws, and /'d be all right, but 
there'd be another person that you don't know about who'd be in big trouble. Well, 
we got to save him, hain't we ? Of course. Well, then, we won't blow on them." 

Saying them words put a good idea in my head. I see how maybe I could 
get me and Jim rid of the frauds ; get them jailed here, and then leave. But 
I didn't want to run the raft in day-time, without anybody aboard to answer 




questions but me ; so I didn't want the plan to begin working till pretty late 
to-night. I says : 

" Miss Mary Jane, I'll tell you what we'll do and ydu won't have to stay 
at Mr. Lothrop's so long, nuther. How fur is it ? " 

"A little short of four miles right out in the country, back here." 
" Well, that'll answer. Now you go along out there, and lay low till nine or 
half-past, to-night, and then get them to fetch you home again tell them you've 
thought of something. If you get here before eleven, put a candle in this window, 
and if I don't turn up, wait till eleven, and then if I don't turn up it means I'm 
gone, and out of the way, and safe. Then you come out and spread the news 
around, and get these beats jailed. " 
"Good," she says, "I'll do it." 

" And if it just happens so that I don't get away, but get took up along with 
them, you must up and say I told you the whole thing beforehand, and you must 
stand by me all you can." 

" Stand by you, indeed I will. They sha'n't touch a hair of your head ! " she 
says, and I see her nostrils spread and her eyes snap when she said it, too. 

" If I get away, I sha'n't be here," I says, " to prove these rapscallions ain't 

your uncles, and I couldn't do it if I 
was here. I could swear they was beats 
and bummers, that's all ; though that's 
worth something. Well, there's others 
can do that better than what I can 
and they're people that ain't going to b& 
doubted as quick as I'd be. I'll tell you 
how to find them. Gimme a pencil and 
a piece of paper. There 'Royal None- 
such, Bricksville.' Put it away, and 
don't lose it. When the court wants to 

w TO FIND THEM. ^ n< ^ ou t something about these two, let 

them send up to Bricksville and say 
they've got the men that played the Royal Nonesuch, and ask for some witnesses 


why, you'll have that entire town down here before you can hardly wink, Miss 
Mary. And they'll come a-biling, too." 

I judged we had got everything fixed about right, now. So I says : 
" Just let the auction go right along, and don't worry. Nobody don't have 
to pay for the things they buy till a whole day after the auction, on accounts of 

the short notice, and they ain't going out of this till they get that money and 

the way we've fixed it the sale ain't going to count, and they ain't going to get no 
money. It's just like the way it was with the niggers it warn't no sale, and the 
niggers will be back before long. Why, they can't collect the money for the 
niggers, yet they're in the worst kind of a fix, Miss Mary." 

"Well," she says, "I'll run down to breakfast now, and then I'll start 
straight for Mr. Lothrop's." 

"'Deed, that ain't the ticket, Miss Mary Jane," I says, "by no manner of 
means ; go before breakfast." 
" Why ? " 

" What did you reckon I wanted you to go at all for, Miss Mary ? " 
" Well, I never thought and come to think, I don't know. What was it ? " 
" Why, it's because you ain't one of these leather-face people. I don't want 
no better book that what your face is. A body can set down and read it off like 
coarse print. Do you reckon you can go and face your uncles, when they come 
to kiss you good-morning, and never 

" There, there, don't ! Yes, I'll go before breakfast I'll be glad to. And 
leave my sisters with them ? " 

" Yes never mind about them. They've got to stand it yet a while. They 

might suspicion something if all of you was to go. I don't want you to see them, 

nor your sisters, nor nobody in this town if a neighbor was to ask how is your 

uncles this morning, your face would tell something. No, you go right along, Miss 

Mary Jane, and I'll fix it with all of them. I'll tell Miss Susan to give your love 

to your uncles and say you've went away for a few hours for to get a little rest and 

change, or to see a friend, and you'll be back to-night or early in the morning." 

" Gone to see a friend is all right, but I won't have my love given to. them." 

" Well, then, it sha'n't be." It was well enough to tell her so no harm in it. 



It was only a little thing to do, and no trouble ; and it's the little things that 
smoothes people's roads the most, down here below ; it would make Mary Jane 
comfortable, and it wouldn't cost nothing. Then I says : " There's one more 
thing that bag of money." 

" Well, they've got that ; and it makes me feel pretty silly to think how they 
got it." 

"No, you're out, there. They hain't got it." 

" Why, who's got it ? " 

" I wish I knowed, but I don't. I had it, because I stole it from them : and 
I stole it to give to you ; and I know where I hid it, but I'm afraid it ain't 
there no more. I'm awful sorry, Miss Mary Jane, I'm just as sorry as I can be ; 
but I done the best I could ; I did, honest. I come nigh getting caught, and I 
had to shove it into the first place I come to, and run and it warn't a good 

" Oh, stop blaming yourself it's too bad to do it, and I won't allow it you 
couldn't help it ; it wasn't you fault. Where did you hide it ? " 

I didn't want to set her to thinking about her troubles again ; and I couldn't 
seem to get my mouth to tell her what would make her see that corpse laying in 

the coffin with that bag of money on his stomach. So for a minute I didn't say 
nothing then I says : 

" I'd ruther not tell you where I put it, Miss Mary Jane, if you don't mind 
letting me off ; but I'll write it for you on a piece of paper, and you can read it 
along the road to Mr. Lothrop's, if you want to. Do you reckon that'll do ? " 

Oh, yes/' 


So I wrote : " I put it in the coffin. It was in there when you was crying 
there, away in the night. I was behind the door, and I was mighty sorry for 
you, Miss Mary Jane." 

It made my eyes water a little, to remember her crying there all by herself 
in the night, and them devils laying there right under her own roof, shaming 
her and robbing her ; and when I folded it up and give it to her, I see the water 
come into her eyes, too ; and she shook me by the hand, hard, and says : 

" Good-bye I'm going to do everything just as you've told me; and if I 
don't ever see you again, I sha'n't ever forget you, and I'll think of you a many 
and a many a time, and I'M pray for you, too ! " and she was gone. 

Pray for me ! I reckoned if she knowed me she'd take a job that was more 
nearer her size. But I bet she done it, just the same she was just that kind. 
She had the grit to pray for Judus if she took the notion there warn't no back- 
down to her, I judge. You may say what you want to, but in. my opinion she 
had more sand in her than any girl I ever see ; in my opinion she was just full of 
sand. It sounds like flattery, but it ain't no flattery. And when it comes to 
beauty and goodness too she lays over them all. I hain't ever seen her since 
that time that I see her go out of that door ; no, I hain't ever seen her since, 
but I reckon I've thought of her a many and a many a million times, and of her 
saying she would pray for me ; and if ever I'd a thought it would do any good 
for me to pray for her, blamed if I wouldn't a done it or bust. 

Well, Mary Jane she lit out the back way, I reckon ; because nobody see 
her go. When I struck Susan and the hare-lip, I says : 

" What's the name of them people over on t'other side of the river that you, 
all goes to see sometimes ? " 

They says : 

" There's several ; but it's the Proctors, mainly." 

" That's the name," I says ; " I most forgot it. Well, Miss Mary Jane she 
told me to tell you she's gone over there in a dreadful hurry one of them's 

" Which one ? " 

" I don't know ; leastways I kinder forget ; but I think it's " 



" Sakes alive, I hope it ain't Banner 9 " 
" I'm sorry to say it," I saye, " but Banner's the very one." 
" My goodness and she so well only last week ! Is she took bad ? " 
" It ain't no name for it. They set up with her all night, Miss Mary Jane 
said, and they don't think she'll last many hours." 

" Only think of that, now ! What's the matter with her ! " 

I couldn't think of anything reasonable, right off that way, so I says : 


" Mumps your granny ! They don't set up 
with people that's got the mumps." 

" They don't, don't they ? You better 
bet they do with these mumps. These mumps 
is different. It's a new kind, Miss Mary Jane 

" How's it a new kind ? " 
" Because it's mixed up with other things." 
" What other things ? " 
"Well, measles, and whooping-cough, and 
erysiplas, and consumption, and yaller janders, 
and brain fever, and I don't know what all." 
" My land ! And they call it the mumps 9 " 
"That's what Miss Mary Jane said." 
" Well, what in the nation do they call it the 
mumps for ? " 

"Why, because it is the mumps. That's 
what it starts with." 
" Well, ther' ain't no sense in it. A body might stump his toe, and take pison, 
and fall down the well, and break his neck, and bust his brains out, and some- 
body come along and ask what killed him, and some numskull up and say/ Why, 
he stumped his toe. ' Would ther' be any sense in that ? No. And ther* ain't 
no sense in this, nuther. Is it ketching? " 

" Is it ketching 9 Why, how you talk. Is a harrow catching ? in the dark ? 


MUMPS. 247 

If you don't hitch onto one tooth, you're bound to on another, ain't you ? And 
you can't get away with that tooth without fetching the whole harrow along, 
can you ? Well, these kind of mumps is a kind of a harrow, as you may say 
and it ain't no slouch of a harrow, nuther, you come to get it hitched on 

" Well, it's awful, / think," says the hare-lip. " I'll go to Uncle Harvey 

" Oh, yes," I says, " I would. Of course I would. I wouldn't lose no time." 

" Well, why wouldn't you ? " 

" Just look at it a minute, and maybe you can see. Hain't your uncles 
obleeged to get along home to England as fast as they can ? And do you reckon 
they'd be mean enough to go off and leave you to go all that journey by your- 
selves ? You know they'll wait for you. So fur, so good. Your uncle Harvey's a 
preacher, ain't he ? Very well, then ; is a preacher going to deceive a steamboat 
clerk ? is he going to deceive a ship clerk ? so as to get them to let Miss Mary 
Jane go aboard ? Now you know he ain't. What will he do, then ? Why, he'll 
say, ( It's a great pity, but my church matters has got to get along the best way they 
can ; for my niece has been exposed to the dreadful pluribus-unum mumps, and 
so it's my bounden duty to set down here and wait the three months it takes to 
show on her if she's got it.' But never mind, if you think it's best to tell your 
uncle Harvey " 

" Shucks, and stay fooling around here when we could all be having good 
times in England whilst we was waiting to find out whether Mary Jane's got it or 
not ? Why, you talk like a muggins." 

" Well, anyway, maybe you better tell some of the neighbors." 

" Listen at that, now. You do beat all, for natural stupid ness. Can't you 
see that they'd go and tell ? Ther' ain't no way but just to not tell anybody at all" 

" Well, maybe you're right yes, I judge you are right." 

" But I reckon we ought to tell Uncle Harvey she's gone out a while, anyway, 
so he wont be uneasy about her ? " 

"Yes, Miss Mary Jane she wanted you to do that. She says, 'Tell them to 
give Uncle Harvey and William my love and a kiss, and say I've run over the river 



to see Mr. Mr. what is the name of that rich family your uncle Peter used 

to think so much of ? I mean the one that " 

"Why, you must mean the Apthorps, ain't it ?" 

" Of course; bother them 
kind of names, a body can't 
ever seem to remember them, 
half the time, somehow. 
Yes, she said, say she has run 
over for to ask the Apthorps 
to be sure and come to the 
auction and buy this house, 
because she allowed her un- 
cle Peter would ruther they 
had it than anybody else ; 
and she's going to stick to 
them till they say they'll 
> come, and then, if she ain't 
too tired, she's coming 
home ; and if she is, she'll 
be home in the morning any- 
way. She said, don't say 
nothing about the Proctors, 
but only about the Apthorps 
which'll be perfectly true, 

because she is going there to speak about their buying the house ; I know it, 

because she told me so, herself." 

"All right," they said, and cleared out to lay for their uncles, and give them 

the love and the kisses, and tell them the message. 

Everything was all right now. The girls wouldn't say nothing because they 

wanted to go to England ; and the king and the duke would ruther Mary Jane 

was off working for the auction than around in reach of Doctor Eobinson. I felt 

very good ; I judged I had done it pretty neat I reckoned Tom Sawyer couldn't 



a done it no neater himself. Of course he would a throwed more style into it, 
but I can't do that very handy, not being brung up to it. 

Well, they held the auction in the public square, along towards the end of the 
afternoon, and it strung along, and strung along, and the old man he was on 
hand and looking his level pisonest, up there longside of the auctioneer, and 
chipping in a little Scripture, now and then, or a little goody-goody saying, of 
some kind, and the duke he was around goo-gooing for sympathy all he knowed 
how, and just spreading himself generly. 

But by-and-by the thing dragged through, and everything was sold. Every- 
thing but a little old trifling lot in the graveyard. So they'd got to work that 
off I never see such a girafft as the king was for wanting to swallow everything. 
Well, whilst they was at it, a steamboat landed, and in about two minutes up 
comes a crowd a whooping and yelling and laughing and carrying on, and singing 
out : 

"Here's your opposition line ! here's your two sets o' heirs to old Peter Wilks 
and you pays your money and you takes your choice !" 

was fetching a very nice looking 
old gentleman along, and a nice 
looking younger one, with his right 
arm in a sling. And my souls, how 
the people yelled, and laughed, and 
kept it up. But I didn't see no joke 
about it, and I judged it would strain 
the duke and the king some to see 
any. I reckoned they'd turn pale. 
But no, nary a pale did they turn. 
The duke he never let on he suspicioned 
what was up, but just went a goo-goo- 
ing around, happy and satisfied, like a 
jug that's googling out buttermilk; and 
as for the king, he just gazed and 
gazed down sorrowful on them new- 
comers like it give him the stomach-ache 
in his very heart to think there could be such frauds and rascals in the 
world. Oh, he done it admirable. Lots of the principal people gethered around 
the king, to let him see they was on his side. That old gentleman that had 
just come looked all puzzled to death. Pretty soon he begun to speak, and 
I see, straight off, he pronounced like an Englishman, not the king's way, 
though the king's was pretty good, for an imitation. I can't give the old gent's 
words, nor I can't imitate him; but he turned around to the crowd, and says, 
about like this : 

" This is a surprise to me which I wasn't looking for; and I'll acknowledge, 



candid and frank, I ain't very well fixed to meet it and answer it; for my brother 
and me has had misfortunes, he's broke his arm, and our baggage got put off at a 
town above here, last night in the night by a mistake. I am Peter Wilks's 

brother Harvey, and this is his brother William, which can't hear nor speak and 

can't even make signs to amount to much, now 't he's only got one hand to work 
them with. We are who we say we are ; and in a day or two, when I get the 
baggage, I can prove it. But, up till then, I won't say nothing more, but go to 
the hotel and wait." 

So him and the new dummy started off ; and the king he laughs, and blethers 
out : 

"Broke his arm very likely ain't it ? and very convenient, too, for a fraud 
that's got to make signs, and hain't learnt how. Lost their baggage 1 That's 
mighty good ! and mighty ingenious under the circumstances ! " 

So he laughed again ; and so did everybody else, except three or four, or 
maybe half a dozen. One of these was that doctor ; another one was a sharp 
looking gentleman, with a carpet-bag of the old-fashioned kind made out of car- 
pet-stuff, that had just come off of the steamboat and was talking to him in a low 
voice, and glancing towards the king now and then and nodding their heads it 
was Levi Bell, the lawyer that was gone up to Louisville ; and another one was a 
big rough husky that come along and listened to all the old gentleman said, and 
was listening to the king now. And when the king got done, this husky up 
and says : 

" Say, looky here ; if you are Harvey Wilks, when'd you come to this town? " 

" The day before the funeral, friend," says the king. 

"But what time o' day?" 

" In the evenin' 'bout an hour er two before sundown." 

"ffoiv'd you come ? " 

"I come down on the Susan Powell, from Cincinnati." 

" Well, then, how'd you come to be up at the Pint in the mornin' in a 
canoe ? " 

"I warn't up at the Pint in the mornin'." 

" It's a lie." 



Several of them jumped for him and begged him not to talk that way to 
an old man and a preacher. 

" Preacher be hanged, he's a fraud and a liar. He was up at the Pint 
that mornin'. I live up there, don't I ? Well, I was up there, and he was up 

there. I see him there. He 
come in a canoe, along with Tim 
Collins and a boy. " 

The doctor he up and says : 
" Would you know the boy 
again if you was to see him, 
Hines ? " 

" I reckon I would, but I 
don't know. Why, yonder he 
is, now. I know him perfectly 

It was me he pointed at. 
The doctor says : 

".Neighbors, I don't know 
whether the new couple is frauds 
or not ; but if these two ain't 
frauds, I am an idiot, that's all. 
I think it's our duty to see that 
they don't get away from here 
till we've looked into this thing. 
Come along, Hines ; come along, the rest of you. We'll take these fellows to the 
tavern and affront them with t'other couple, and I reckon we'll find out some- 
thing before we get through." 

It was nuts for the crowd, though maybe not for the king's friends ; so we all 
started. It was about sundown. The doctor he led me along by the hand, and 
was plenty kind enough, but he never let go my hand. 

We all got in a big room in the hotel, and lit up some candles, and fetched in 
the new couple. First, the doctor says : 




" I don't wish to be too hard on these two men, but /think they're frauds, 
and they may have complices that we don't know nothing about. If they have, 
won't the complices get away with that bag of gold Peter Wilks left ? It ain't 
unlikely. If these men ain't frauds, they won't object to sending for that money 
and letting us keep it till they prove they're all right ain't that so ? " 

Everybody agreed to that. So I judged they had our gang in a pretty tight 
place, right at the outstart. But the king he only looked sorrowful, and says : 

" Gentlemen, I wish the money was there, for I ain't got no disposition to 
throw anything in the way of a fair, open, out-and-out investigation o' this 
misable business ; but alas, the money ain't there ; you k'n send and see, if you 
want to." 

"Where is it, then ?" 

" Well, when my niece give it to me to keep for her, I took and hid it inside 
o' the straw tick o' my bed, not wishin' to bank it for the few days we'd be here, 
and considerin' the bed a safe place, we not bein' used to niggers, and suppos'n' 
'em honest, like servants in England. The niggers stole it the very next mornin' 
after I had went down stairs ; and when I sold 'em, I hadn't missed the money 
yit, so they got clean away with it. My servant here k'n tell you 'bout it gentle- 

The doctor and several said " Shucks ! " and I see nobody didn't altogether be- 
lieve him. One man asked me if I see the niggers steal it. I said no, but I see 
them sneaking out of the room and hustling away, and I never thought nothing, 
only I reckoned they was afraid they had waked up my master and was trying to 
get away before he made trouble with them. That was all they asked me. Then 
the doctor whirls on me and says : 

" Are you English too ? " 

I says yes ; and him and some others laughed, and said, " Stuff ! " 

Well, then they sailed in on the general investigation, and there we had it, up 
and down, hour in, hour out, and nobody never said a word about supper, nor 
ever seemed to think about it and so they kept it up, and kept it up ; and it 
was the worst mixed-up thing you ever see. They made the king tell his yam, 
and they made the old gentleman tell his'n ; and anybody but a lot of prejudiced 


chuckleheads would a seen that- the old gentleman was spinning truth and t'other 
one lies. And by-and-by they had me up to tell what I knowed. The king he 
give me a left-handed look out of the corner of his eye, and so I knowed enough 
to talk on the right side. I begun to tell about Sheffield, and how we lived there, 
and all about the English Wilkses, and so on ; but I didn't get pretty fur till the 
doctor begun to laugh; and Levi Bell, the lawyer, says : 

" Set down, my boy, I wouldn't strain myself, if I was you. I reckon you 
ain't used to lying, it don't seem to come handy ; what you want is practice. 
You do it pretty awkward." 

I didn't care nothing for the compliment, but I was glad to be let off, 

The doctor he started to say something, and turns and says : 

" If you'd been in town at first, Levi Bell " 

The king broke in and reached out his hand, and says : 
" Why, is this my poor dead brother's old friend that he's wrote so often about? " 
The lawyer and him shook hands, and the lawyer smiled and looked pleased, 
and they talked right along a while, and then got to one side and talked low ; 
and at last the lawyer speaks up and says : 

" That'll fix it. I'll take the order and send it, along with your brother's, 
and then they'll know it's all right." 

So they got some paper and a pen, and the king he set down and twisted his 
head to one side, and chawed his tongue, and scrawled off something ; and then 
they give the pen to the duke and then for the first time, the duke looked sick. 
But he took the pen and wrote. So then the lawyer turns to the new old gentle- 
man and says : 

" You and your brother please write a line or two and sign your names." 
The old gentleman wrote, but nobody couldn't read it. The lawyer looked 
powerful astonished, and says : 

"Well, it beats me" and snaked a lot of old letters out of his pocket, and 
examined them, and then examined the old man's writing, and then them again ; 
and then says : "These old letters is from Harvey Wilks ; and here's these two's 
handwritings, and anybody can see they didn't write them " (the king and the 




duke looked sold and foolish, I tell you, to see how the lawyer had took them in), 
"and here's this old gentleman's handwriting, and anybody can tell, easy enough, 
he didn't write them fact is, the scratches he makes ain't properly writing, 
at all. Now here's some letters \ 

from " 

The new old gentleman says : 

" If you please, let me explain. 
Nobody can read my hand but my 
brother there so he copies for me. 
It's his hand you've got there, 
not mine." 

" Well ! " says the lawyer, "this 
is a state of things. I've got some 
of William's letters too; so if you'll 
get him to write a line or so we 
can com " 

" He can't write with his left hand," says the old gentleman. " If he conld 
use his right hand, you would see that he wrote his own letters and mine too. 
Look at both, please they're by the same hand." 

The lawyer done it, and says : 

"I believe it's so and if it ain't so, there's a heap stronger resemblance than 
I'd noticed before, anyway. Well, well, well ! I thought we was right on the track 
of a slution, but it's gone to grass, partly. But anyway, one thing is proved 
these two ain't either of 'em Wilkses "and he wagged his head towards the king 
and the duke. 

Well, what do you think ? that muleheaded old fool wouldn't give in then! 
Indeed he wouldn't. Said. it warn't no fair test. Said his brother William was 
the cussedest joker in the world, and hadn't tried to write he gee William was 
going to play one of his jokes the minute he put the pen to paper. And so he 
warmed up and went warbling and warbling right along, till he was actuly be- 
ginning to believe what he was saying, himself but pretty soon the new old 
gentleman broke in, and says : 


" I've thought of something. Is there anybody here that helped to lay out 
my br helped to lay out the late Peter Wilks for burying ? " 

" Yes," says somebody, " me and Ab Turner done it. We're both here." 

Then the old man turns towards the king, and says : 

" Peraps this gentleman can tell me what was tatooed on his breast ? " 

Blamed if the king didn't have to brace up mighty quick, or he'd a 
squshed down like a bluff bank that the river has cut under, it took him so sud- 
denand mind you, it was a thing that was calculated to make most anybody 
sqush to get fetched such a solid one as that without any notice because how was 
he going to know what was tatooed on the man? He whitened a little; he couldn't 
help it ; and it was mighty still in there, and everybody bending a little forwards 
and gazing at him. Says I to myself, Now he'll throw up the sponge there ain't 
no more use. Well, did he? A body can't hardly believe it, but he didn't. I 
reckon he thought he'd keep the thing up till he tired them people out, so they'd 
thin out, and him and the duke could break loose and get away. Anyway, he set 
there, and pretty soon he begun to smile, and says : 

" Mf ! It's a very tough question, ain't it ! Yes, sir, I k'n tell you what's 
tatooed on his breast. It's jest a small, thin, blue arrow that's what it is ; and 
if you don't look clost, you can't see it. Now what do you say hey? " 

Well, / never see anything like that old blister for clean out-and-out cheek. 

The new old gentleman turns brisk towards Ab Turner and his pard, and his 
eye lights up like he judged he'd got the king this time, and says : 

" There you've heard what he said ! Was there any such mark on Peter 
Wilks's breast ? " 

Both of them spoke up and says : 

"We didn't see no such mark." 

" Good ! " says the old gentleman. " Now, what you did see on his 
breast was a small dim P, and a B (which is an initiaj he dropped when he was 
young), and a W, with dashes between them, so : P B W "and he marked 
them that way on a piece of paper. " Come ain't that what you saw? " 

Both of them spoke up again, and says : 

" No, we didn't. We never seen any marks at all." 



Well, everybody was in a state of mind, now ; and they sings out : 

" The whole bilin' of 'm 's frauds ! Le's duck 'em ! le's drown 'em ! le's 
ride 'em on a rail ! " and everybody was whooping at once, and there was a rat- 
tling pow-wow. But the lawyer he jumps on the table and yells, and says : 

" Gentlemen gentlemen ! Hear 
me just a word just a single word 
if you PLEASE! There's one way yet 
let's go and dig up the corpse and 

That took them. 

" Hooray! " they all shouted, and 
was starting right off ; but the lawyer 
and the doctor sung out : 

" Hold on, hold on ! Collar all 
these four men and the boy, and 
fetch them along, too ! " 

" We'll do it ! " they all shouted: 
" and if we don't find them marks 
we'll lynch the whole gang ! " 

I was scared, now, I tell you. 
But there warn' t no getting away, 
you know. They gripped us all, and 
marched us right along, straight for 
the graveyard, which was a mile and a half down the river, and the whole town 
at our heels, for we made noise enough, and it was only nine in the evening. 

As we went by our house I wished I hadn't sent Mary Jane out of town ; be- 
cause now if I could tip her the wink, she'd light out and save me, and blow on 
our dead-beats. 

Well, we swarmed along down the river road, just carrying on like wild-cats ; 

and to make it more scary, the sky was darking up, and the lightning beginning 

to wink and flitter, and the wind to shiver amongst the leaves. This was the 

most awful trouble and most dangersome I ever was in; and I was kinder stunned ; 




everything was going so different from what I had allowed for ; stead of being 
fixed so I could take my own time, if I wanted to, and see all the fun, and have 
Mary Jane at my back to save me and set me free when the close-fit come, here 
was nothing in the world betwixt me and sudden death but just them tatoo- 
marks. If they didn't find them 

I couldn't bear to think about it ; and yet, somehow, I couldn't think about 
nothing else. It got darker and darker, and it was a beautiful time to give the 
crowd the slip ; but that big husky had me by the wrist Hines and a body 
might as well try to give Goliar the slip.' He dragged me right along, he was so 
excited; and I had to run to keep up. 

When they got there they swarmed into the graveyard and washed over it like 
an overflow. And when they got to the grave, they found they had about a 
hundred times as many shovels as they wanted, bub nobody hadn't thought to 
fetch a lantern. But they sailed into digging, anyway, by the flicker of the 
lightning, and sent a man to the nearest house a half a mile off, to borrow one. 

So they dug and dug, like everything ; and it got awful dark, and the rain 
started, and the wind swished and swushed along, and the lightning come brisker 
and brisker, and the thunder boomed; but them people never took no notice of 
it, they was so full of this business; and one minute you could see everything and 
every face in that big crowd, and the shovelfuls of dirt sailing up out of the grave, 
and the next second the dark wiped it all out, and you couldn't see nothing at all. 

At last they got out the coffin, and begun to unscrew the lid, and then 
such another crowding, and shouldering, and shoving as there was, to scrouge 
in and get a sight, you never see ; and in the dark, that way, it was awful. 
Hines he hurt my wrist dreadful, pulling and tugging so, and I reckon he clean 
forgot I was in the world, he was so excited and panting. 

All of a sudden the lightning let go a perfect sluice of white glare, and some- 
body sings out : 

" By the living jingo, here's the bag of gold on his breast ! " 

Hines let out a whoop, like everybody else, and dropped my wrist and give a 
big surge to bust his way in and get a look, and the way I lit out and shinned 
for the road in the dark, there ain't nobody can tell. 


I had the road all to myself, and I fairly flew leastways I had it all to myself 
except the solid dark, and the now-and-then glares, and the buzzing of the rain, 
and the thrashing of the wind, and the splitting of the thunder ; and sure as you 
are born I did clip it along ! 

When I struck the town, I see there warn't nobody out in the storm, so I 
never hunted for no back streets, but humped it straight through the main one ; 
and when I begun to get towards our house I aimed my eye and set it. No light 
there ; the house all dark which made me feel sorry and disappointed, I didn't 
know why. But at last, just as I was sailing by, flash comes the light in Mary 
Jane's window ! and my heart swelled up sudden, like to bust ; and the same 
second the house and all was behind me in the dark, and wasn't ever going to be 
before me no more in this world. She was the best girl I ever see, and had the 
most sand. 

The minute I was far enough above the town to see I could make the tow- 
head, I begun to look sharp for a boat to borrow; and the first time the lightning 
showed me one that wasn't chained, I snatched it and shoved. It was a canoe, 
and wanrt fastened with nothing but a rope. The towhead was a rattling big 
distance off, away out there in the middle of the river, but I didn't lose no time ; 
and when I struck the raft at last, I was so fagged I would a just laid down 
to blo.w and gasp if I could afforded it. But I didn't. As I sprung aboard 
I sung out : 

" Out with you Jim, and set her loose ! Glory be to goodness, we're shut 
of them!" 

Jim lit out, and was a coming for me with both arms spread, he was so 
full of joy; but when I glimpsed him in the lightning, my heart shot up in my 
mouth, and I went overboard backwards ; for I forgot he was old King Lear 
and a drownded A-rab all in one, and it most scared the livers and lights out 
of me. But Jim fished me out, and was going to hug me and bless me, and 
so on, he was so glad I was back and we was shut of the king and the duke, 
but I says : 

"Not now have it for breakfast, have it for breakfast! Cut loose and let 
her slide ! " 



So, in two seconds, away we went, a sliding down the river, and it did seem 

so good to be free again and 
all by ourselves on the big 
river and nobody to bother 
us. I had to skip around a 
bit, and jump up and crack 
my heels a few times, I couldn't 
help it; but about the third 
crack, I noticed a sound that I 
knowed mighty well and held 
my breath and listened and 
waited and sure enough, when 
the next flash busted out over 
the water, here they come ! 
and just a laying to their oars 
and making their skiff hum I. 
It was the king and the duke. 

So I wilted right down onto 
the planks, then, and give up ; 
and it was all I could do to 
keep from crying. 



they got aboard, the king went for me, 
and shook me by the collar, and says : 
"Tryin' to give us the slip, was 
ye, you pup ! Tired of our company 
I says : 

"No, your majesty, we warn't 
please don't, your majesty ! " 

''Quick, then, and tell us what 
was your idea, or I'll shake the insides 
out o' you ! " 

" Honest, I'll tell you everything, 
just as it happened, your majesty. 
The man that had aholt of me was 
very good to me, and kept saying he 
had a boy about as big as me that 
died last year, and he was sorry to see 
a boy in such a dangerous fix ; and 

when they was all took by surprise by finding the gold, and made a rush for the 
coffin, he lets go of me and whispers, < Heel it, now, or they'll hang ye, sure! ' and 
I lit out. It didn't seem no good for me 'to stay / couldn't do nothing, and I 
didn't want to be hung if I could get away. So I never stopped running till I 
found the canoe ; and when I got here I told Jim to hurry, or they'd catch me 
and hang me yet, and said I was afeard you and the duke wasn't alive, now, and 


I was awful sorry, and so was Jim, and was awful glad when we see you coming, 
you may ask Jim if I didn't." 

Jim said it was so ; and the king told him to shut up, and said, " Oh, yes, 
it's mighty likely !" and shook me up again, and said he reckoned he'd drownd 
me. But the duke says : 

"Leggo the boy, you old idiot ! Would you a done any different ? Did you 
inquire around for him, when you got loose ? / don't remember it." 

So the king let go of me, and begun to cuss that town and everybody in it. 
But the duke says : 

"You better a blame sight give yourself a, good cussing, for you're the one 
that's entitled to it most. You hain't done a thing, from the start, that had 
any sense in it, except coming out so cool and cheeky with that imaginary blue- 
arrow mark. That was bright it was right down bully ; and it was the thing 
that saved us. For if it hadn't been for that, they'd a jailed us till them English- 
men's baggage come and then the penitentiary, you bet ! But that trick took 
'em to the graveyard, and the gold done us a still bigger kindness ; for if the 
excited fools hadn't let go all holts and made that rush to get a look, we'd a slept in 
our cravats to-night cravats warranted to wear, too longer thanweW need 'em." 

They was still a minute thinking then the king says, kind of absent- 
minded like : 

" Mf ! And we reckoned the niggers stole it ! " 

That made me squirm ! 

"Yes," says the duke, kinder slow, and deliberate, and sarcastic, " We did." 

After about a half a minute, the king drawls out : 

" Leastways I did." 

The duke says, the same way : 

" On the contrary 7 did." 

The king kind of ruffles up, and says : 

" Looky here, Bilgewater, what'r you referrin' to ? " 

The duke says, pretty brisk : 

"When it comes to that, maybe you'll let me ask, what was you refer- 
ring to ? " 



"Shucks !" says the king, very sarcastic; "but I don't know maybe you 
was asleep, and didn't know what you was about." 

The duke bristles right up, now, and says : 

" Oh, let up on this cussed nonsense do you take me for a blame' fool ? 
Don't you reckon / know who hid that money in that coffin ? '' 

" Yes, sir ! I know you do know because you done it yourself !'' 

" It's a lie !" and the duke went for 1dm. The king sings out : 


" Take y'r hands off ! leggo my throat ! I take it all back !" 

The duke says : 

"Well, you just own up, first, that you tbYZhide that money there, intending 
to give me the slip one of these days, and come back and dig it up, and have it 
all to yourself." 

"Wait jest a minute, duke answer me this one question, honest and fair ; 
if you didn't put the money there, say it, and I'll b'lieve you, and take back 
everything I said." 

" You old scoundrel, I didn't, and you know I didn't. There, now !" 

" Well, then, I b'lieve you. But answer me only jest this one more now 


don't git mad ; didn't you have it in your mind to hook the money and 
hide it?" 

The duke never said nothing for a little bit ; then he says : 

Well I don't care if I did, I didn't do it, anyway. But you not only had 
it in mind to do it, but you done it." 

" I wisht I may never die if I done it, duke, and that's honest. I won't say 1 
warn't goin' to do it, because I was ; but you I mean somebody got in ahead 
o' me." 

" It's a lie ! You done it, and you got to say you done it, or " 

The king begun to gurgle, and then he gasps out : 

" 'Nough ! / own up ! " 

I was very glad to hear him say that, it made me feel much more easier than 
what I was feeling before. So the duke took his hands off, and says : 

" If you ever deny it again, I'll drown you. It's well for you to set there and 
blubber like a baby it's fitten for you, after the way you've acted. I never see 
such an. old ostrich for wanting to gobble everything and I a trusting you all the 
time, like you was my own father. You ought to been ashamed of yourself to 
stand by and hear it saddled onto a lot of poor niggers and you never say a word 
for 'em. It makes me feel ridiculous to think I was soft enough to believe that 
rubbage. Cuss you, I can see, now, why you was so anxious to make up the 
deffesit you wanted to get what money I'd got out of the Nonesuch and one 
thing or another, and scoop it all ! " 

The king says, timid, and still a snuffling : 

"Why, duke, it was you that said make up the deffersit, it warn't 

" Dry up ! I don't want to hear no more out of you ! " says the duke. " And 
now you see what you got by it. They've got all their own money back, and all 
of ourn but a shekel or two, besides. G-'long to bed and don't you deffersit me 
no more deffersits, long 's you live ! " 

So the king sneaked into the wigwam, and took to his bottle for comfort ; and 
before long the duke tackled Us bottle ; and so in about a half an hour they was 
as thick as thieves again, and the tighter they got, the lovinger they got ; and 


went off a snoring in each other's arms. They both got powerful mellow, but I 
noticed the king didn't get mellow enough to forget to remember to not deny 
about hiding the money-bag again. That made me feel easy and satisfied. Of 
course when they got to snoring, we had a long gabble, and I told Jim every- 

01 \ 4- 


i it \ '. v. / -<x n 


dasn't stop again at any town, for 
days and days ; kept right along 
down the river. We was down south 
in the warm weather, now, and a 
mighty long ways from home. We 
begun to come to trees with Spanish 
moss on them, hanging down from 
the limbs like long gray beards. It 
was the first I ever see it growing, 
and it made the woods look solemn 
and dismal. So now the frauds 
reckoned they was out of danger, 
and they begun to work the villages 

First they done a lecture on 
temperance ; but they didn't make 
enough for them both to get 
drunk on. Then in another village 

they started a dancing school ; but they didn't know no more how to dance than 
a kangaroo does ; so the first prance they made, the general public jumped in 
and pranced them out of town. Another time they tried a go at yellocution ; 
but they didn't yellocute long till the audience got up and give them a solid good 
cussing and made them skip out. They tackled missionarying, and mesmerizer- 
ing, and doctoring, and telling fortunes, and a little of everything ; but they 
couldn't seem to have no luck. So at last they got just about dead broke, and 



laid around the raft, as she floated along, thinking, and thinking, and never 
saying nothing, by the half a day at a time, and dreadful blue and desperate. 

And at last they took a change, and begun to lay their heads together in the 
wigwam and talk low and confidential two or three hours at a time. Jim and 
me got uneasy. We didn't like the look of it. "We judged they was studying 
up some kind of worse deviltry than ever. We turned it over and over, and at 
last we made up our minds they was going to break into somebody's house or 
store, or was going into the counterfeit-money business, or something. So then 
we was pretty scared, and made up an agreement that we wouldn't have nothing 
in the world to do with such actions, and if we ever got the least show we would 
give them the cold shake, and clear out and leave them behind. Well, early one 
morning we hid the raft in a good safe place about two mile below a little bit of 
a shabby village, named Pikesville, and the king he went ashore, and told us all 
to stay hid whilst he went up to town and smelt around to see if anybody had got 
any wind of the Royal Nonesuch there yet. (" House to rob, you mean," says I to 
myself ; "and when you get through robbing it you'll come back here and won- 
der what's become of me and Jim and the raft and you'll have to take it out in 
wondering.") And he said if he warn't back by midday, the duke and me would 
know it was all right, and we was to come along. 

So we staid where we was. The duke he fretted and sweated around, and 
was in a mighty sour way. He scolded us for everything, and we couldn't seem 
to do nothing right ; he found fault with every little thing. Something was 
a-brewing, sure. I was good and glad when midday come and no king ; we could 
have a change, anyway and maybe a chance for the change, on top of it. So 
me and the duke went up to the village, and hunted around there for the king, 
and by-and-by we found him in the back room of a little low doggery, very tight, 
and a lot of loafers bullyragging him for sport, and he a cussing and threatening 
with all his might, and so tight he couldn't walk, and couldn't do nothing to 
them. The duke he begun to abuse him for an old fool, and the king begun to 
sass back ; and the minute they was fairly at it, I lit out, and shook the reefs out 
of my hind legs, and spun down the river road like a deer for I see our chance ; 
and I made up my mind that it would be a long day before they ever see me and 


Jim again. I got down there all out of breath but loaded up with joy, and sung 

" Set her loose, Jim, we're all right, now ! " 

But there warn't no answer, and nobody come out of the wigwam. Jim was 
gone ! I set up a shout and then another and then another one ; and run this 
way and that in the woods, whooping and screeching ; but it warn't no use old 
Jim was gone. Then I set down and cried ; I couldn't help it. But I couldn't 
set still long. Pretty soon I went out on the road, trying to think what I better 
do, and I run across a boy walking, and asked him if he'd seen a strange nigger, 
dressed so and so, and he says : 


"Wherebouts ?" says I. 

" Down to Silas Phelps's place, two mile below here. He's a runaway nigger, 
and they've got him. Was you looking for him ? " 

" You bet I ain't ! I run across him in the woods about an hour or two ago, 
and he said if I hollered he'd cut my livers out and told me to lay down and 
stay where I was ; and I done it. Been there ever since ; afeard to come out." 

" Well," he says, "you needn't be afeard no more, becuz they've got him. 
He run off fm down South, som'ers." 

" It's a good job they got him." 

" Well, I reckon ! There's two hunderd dollars reward on him. It's like 
picking up money out'n the road." 

"Yes, it is and / could a had it if I'd been big enough ; I see him first. 
Who nailed him ? " 

" It was an old fellow a stranger and he sold out his chance in him for 
forty dollars, becuz he's got to go up the river and can't wait. Think o' that, 
now ! You bet Pd wait, if it was seven year." 

"That's me, every time," says I. "But maybe his chance ain't worth no 
more than that, if he'll sell it so cheap. Maybe there's something ain't straight 
about it." 

"But it w, though straight as a string. I see the handbill myself. It tells 
all about him, to a dot paints him like a picture, and tells the plantation he's 


frum, below Revfrleans. ^o-sirree-Joi, they ain't no trouble 'bout that specu- 
lation, you bet you. Say, gimme a chaw tobacker, won't ye ? " 

I didn't have none, so he left. I went to the raft, and set down in the 
wigwam to think. But I couldn't come to nothing. I thought till I wore my head 
sore, but I couldn't see no way 
out of the trouble. After all 
this long journey, and after 
all we'd done for them scoun- 
drels, here was it all come to 
nothing, every thing all busted 
up and ruined, because they 
could have the heart to serve 
-Jim such a trick as that, and 
make him a slave again all his 
life, and amongst strangers, 
too, for forty dirty dollars. 
Once I said to myself it 
would be a thousand times 
better for Jim to be a slave 
at home where his family 
was, as long as he'd got to be 
a slave, and so I'd better 
write a letter to Tom Sawyer 
.and tell him to tell Miss 
Watson where he was. But 
I soon give up that notion, 

for two things : she'd be mad and disgusted at his rascality and ungratefulness 
for leaving her, and so she'd sell him straight down the river again ; and if she 
didn't, everybody naturally despises an ungrateful nigger, and they'd make 
Jim feel it all the time, and so he'd feel ornery and disgraced. And then think of 
me! It would get all around, that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his 
freedom ; and if I was to ever see anybody from that town again, I'd be ready to 



get down and lick his boots for shame. That's just the way : a person does a 
low-down thing, and then he don't want to take no consequences of it. Thinks 
as long as he can hide it, it ain't no disgrace. That was my fix exactly. The 
more I studied about this, the more my conscience went to grinding me, and the 
more wicked and low-down and ornery I got to feeling. And at last, when it hit 
me all of a sudden that here was the plain hand of Providence slapping me in 
the face and letting me know my wickedness was being watched all the time from 
up there in heaven, whilst I was stealing a poor old woman's nigger that hadn't 
ever done me no harm, and now was showing me there's One that's always on the 
lookout, and ain't agoing to allow no such miserable doings to go only just so fur 
and no further, I most dropped in my tracks I was so scared. Well, I tried the 
best I could to kinder soften it up somehow for myself, by saying I was brung up 
wicked, and so I warn't so much to blame ; but something inside of me kept say- 
ing, " There was the Sunday school, you could a gone to it ; and if you'd a done 
it they'd a learnt you, there, that people that acts as I'd been acting about that 
nigger goes to everlasting fire." 

It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray ; and see if I 
couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was, and be better. So I kneeled 
down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they ? It warn't no use 
to try and hide it from Him. Nor from me, neither. I knowed very well why 
they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right ; it was because I 
warn't square ; is was because I was playing double. I was letting on to give up 
sin, but away inside of me I was holding on 'to the biggest one of all. I was 
trying to make my mouth say I would do the right thing and the clean thing, 
and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was ; but deep down 
in me I knowed it was a lie and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie I found 
that out. 

So I was full of trouble, full as I could be ; and didn't know what to do. At 
last I had an idea ; and I says, I'll go and write the letter and then see if I can 
pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather, right straight 
off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad 
and excited, and set down and wrote : 



Miss Watson your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville and Mr. 
Phelps has got him and he wiil give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK Fi.\x. 

I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in 
my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but 
laid the paper down and set - 
there thinking thinking how 
good it was all this happened 
so, and how near I come to 
being lost and going to hell. 
And went on thinking. And 
got to thinking over our trip 
down the river; and I see 
Jim before me, all the time, 
in the day, and in the night- 
time, sometimes moonlight, 
sometimes storms, and we a 
floating along, talking, and 
singing, and laughing. But 
somehow I couldn't seem to 
strike no places to harden me 
against him, but only the 
other kind. I'd see him '. ^^ 

standing my watch on top of 

his'n, stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping ; and see him how glad he 
was when I come back out of the fog ; and when I come to him again in the 
swamp, up there where the feud was ; and such-like times ; and would always 
call me honey, and pet me, and do everything he could think of for me, and how 
good he always was ; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men 
we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend 
old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he's got now ; and then 1 
happened to look around, and see that paper. 


It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a 
trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I 
knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to 
myself : 

" All right, then, I'll go to hell "and tore it up. 

It was awful thoughts, and awful words, but they was said. And I let them 
stay said ; and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole 
thing out of my head ; and said I would take up wickedness again, which was 
in my line, being brung up to it, and the other warn't. And for a starter, I 
would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again ; and if I could think up 
anything worse, I would do that, too ; because as long as I was in, and in for 
good, I might as well go the whole hog. 

Then I set to thinking over how to get at it, and turned over considerable 
many ways in my mind ; and at last fixed up a plan that suited me. So then I 
took the bearings of a woody island that was down the river a piece, and as soon 
as it was fairly dark I crept out with my raft and went for it, and hid it there, 
and then turned in. I slept the night through, and got up before it was light, 
raid had my breakfast, and put on my store clothes, and tied up some others and 
one thing or another in a bundle, and took the canoe and cleared for shore. 
I landed below where I judged was Phelps's place, and hid my bundle in the 
woods, and then filled up the canoe with water, and loaded rocks into her and 
eunk her where I could find her again when I wanted her, about a quarter of a 
mile below a little steam sawmill that was on the bank. 

Then I struck up the road, and when I passed the mill I see a sign on it, 
" Phelps's Sawmill," and when I come to the farm-houses, two or three hundred 
yards further along, I kept my eyes peeled, but didn't see nobody around, though 
it was good daylight, now. But I didn't mind, because I didn't want to see 
nobody just yet I only wanted to get the lay of the land. According to my 
plan, I was going to turn up there from the village, not from below. So I just 
took a look, and shoved along, straight for town. Well, the very first man I see, 
when I got there, was the duke. He was sticking up a bill for the Royal None- 
suchthree-night performance like that other time. They had the cheek, 


them frauds ! I was right on him, before I could shirk. He looked astonished, 
and says : 

" Hel-?o / Where'd you come from ?" Then he says, kind of glad and eager, 
" Where's the raft ? got her in a good place ? " 

"Why, that's just what I was agoing to ask your grace." 

Then he didn't look so joyful and says : 

" What was your idea for asking me ? " he says. 

" Well," I says, " when I see the king in that doggery yesterday, I says to my- 
self, we can't get him home for hours, till he's soberer ; so I went a loafing 
around town to put in the time, and wait. A man up and offered me ten cents 
to help him pull a skiff over the river and back to fetch a sheep, and so I went 
along ; but when we was dragging him to the boat, and the man left me aholt of 
the rope and went behind him to shove him along, he was too strong for me, and 
jerked loose and run, and we after him. We didn't have no dog, and so we had 
to chase him all over the country till we tired him out. We never got him till 
dark, then we fetched him over, and I started down for the raft. When I got 
there and see it was gone, I says to myself, 'they've got into trouble and had to 
leave ; and they've took my nigger, which is the only nigger I've got in the world, 
and now I'm in a strange country, and ain't got no property no more, nor noth- 
ing, and no way to make my living ; ' so I set down and cried. I slept in the 
woods all night. But what did become of the raft then ? and Jim, poor Jim ! " 

" Blamed if /know that is, what's become of the raft. That old fool had 
made a trade and got forty dollars, and when we found him in the doggery the 
loafers had matched half dollars with him and got every cent but what he'd spent 
for whisky ; and when I got him home late last night and found the raft gone, 
we said, ' That little rascal has stole our raft and shook us, and run off down the 
river. ' " 

" I wouldn't shake my nigger, would I ? the only nigger I had in the world, 
and the only property." 

" We never thought of that. Fact is, I reckon we'd come to consider him 
our nigger ; yes, we did consider him so goodness knows we had trouble enough 



for him. So when we see the raft was gone, and we flat broke, there warn't any- 
thing for it but to try the Eoyal Nonesuch another shake. And I've pegged 

along ever since, dry as a powder- 
horn. "Where's that ten cents ? 
Give it here." 

I had considerable money, so 
I give him ten cents, but begged 
him to spend it for something to 
eat, and give me some, because 
it was all the money I had, and I 
hadn't had nothing to eat since 
yesterday. He never said noth- 
ing. The next minute he 
whirls on me and says : 

"Do you reckon that nigger 
would blow on us ? We'd skin 
him if he done that ! " 

" How can he blow ? Hain't 
he run off ? " 

"No! That old fool sold 
him, and never divided with 
H* OAVE HIM TEN CE. me, and the money's gone." 

"Sold him?" I says, and 

begun to cry ; " why, he was my nigger, and that was my money. Where is 
he ? I want my nigger. " 

"Well, you can't get your nigger, that's all so dry up your blubbering. 
Looky here do you think you'd venture to blow on us ? Blamed if I think I'd 

trust you. Why, if you was to blow on us " 

He stopped, but I never see the duke look so ugly out of his eyes before. I 
went on a-whimpering, and says : 

"I don't want to blow on nobody ; and I ain't got no time to blow, nohow. I 
got to turn out and find my nigger." 



He looked kinder bothered, and stood there with his bills fluttering on his 
arm, thinking, and wrinkling up his forehead. At last he says : 

" I'll tell you something. We got to be here three days. If you'll promise 
you won't blow, and won't let the nigger blow, I'll tell you where to find him." 

So I promised, and he says : 

"A farmer by the name of Silas Ph " and then he stopped. You see he 

started to tell me the truth ; but when he stopped, that way, and begun to study 
and think again, I reckoned he was changing his mind. And so he was. He 


wouldn't trust me ; he wanted to make sure of having me out of the way the 
whole three days. So pretty soon he says : " The man that bought him is named 
Abram Foster Abram G. Foster and he lives forty mile back here in the 
country, on the road to Lafayette. " 

"All right," I says, "I can walk it in three days. And I'll start this very 

"No you won't, you'll start now; and don't you lose any time about it, 
neither, nor do any gabbling by the way. Just keep a tight tongue in your head 
and move right along, and then you won't get into trouble with ws, d'ye hear ? " 


That was the order I wanted,' and that was the one I played for. I wanted to 
be left free to work my plans. 

" So clear out," he says ; " and you can tell Mr. Foster whatever you want to. 
Maybe you can get him to believe that Jim is your nigger some idiots don't 
require documents leastways I've heard there's such down South here. And 
when you tell him the handbill and the reward's bogus, maybe he'll believe you 
when you explain to him what the idea was for getting 'em out. Go 'long, now, 
and tell him anything you want to ; but mind you don't work your jaw any 
between here and there." 

So I left, and struck for the back country. I didn't look around, but I 
kinder felt like he was watching me. But I knowed I could tire him out at that. 
I went straight out in the country as much as a mile, before I stopped ; then I 
doubled back through the woods towards Phelps's. I reckoned I better start in 
on my plan straight off, without fooling around, because I wanted to stop Jim's 
mouth till these fellows could get away. I didn't want no trouble with their 
kind. I'd seen all I wanted to of them, and wanted to get entirely shut of 



I got there it was all still and Sunday- 
like, and hot and sunshiny the 
hands was gone to the fields ; and 
there was them kind of faint dronings 
of bugs and flies in the air that makes 
it seem so lonesome and like every- 
body's dead and gone ; and if a breeze 
fans along and quivers the leaves, 
it makes you feel mournful, because 
you feel like it's spirits whispering 
spirits that's been dead ever so 
many years and you always think 
they 're talking about you. As a gen- 
eral thing it makes a body wish he was 
dead, too, and done with it all. 

Phelps's was one of these little 
one-horse cotton plantations ; and 
they all look alike. A rail fence round a two-acre yard ; a stile, made out of 
logs sawed off and up-ended, in steps, like barrels of a different length, to climb 
over the fence with, and for the women to stand on when they are going to jump 
onto a horse ; some sickly grass-patches in the big yard, but mostly it was bare and 
smooth, like an old hat with the nap rubbed off ; big double log house for the 
white folks hewed logs, with the chinks stopped up with mud or mortar, and 
these mud-stripes been whitewashed some time or another ; round-log kitchen, 
with a big broad, open but roofed passage joining it to the house ; log smoke-house 



back of the kitchen ; three little log nigger-cabins in a row t'other side the smoke- 
house ; one little hut all by itself away down against the back fence, and some out- 
buildings down apiece the other side ; ash-hopper, and big kettle to bile soap in, by 
the little hut ; bench by the kitchen door, with bucket of water and a gourd ; hound 
asleep there, in the sun ; more hounds asleep, round about ; about three shade- 
trees away off in a corner ; some currant bushes and gooseberry bushes in one place 
by the fence ; outside of the fence a garden and a water-melon patch ; then the 
cotton fields begins ; and after the fields, the woods. 

I went around and dumb over the back stile by the ash-hopper, and started for 
the kitchen. When I got a little ways, I heard the dim hum of a spinning-wheel 
wailing along up and sinking along down again ; and then I knowed for certain 
I wished I was dead for that is the lonesomest sound in the whole world. 

I went right along, not fixing up any particular plan, but just trusting to Provi- 
dence to put the right words in my mouth when the time come ; for I'd noticed 
that Providence always did put the right words in my mouth, if I left it alone. 

When I got half-way, first one hound and then another got up and went for 
me, and of course I stopped and faced them, and kept still. And such another 
pow-wow as they made ! In a quarter of a minute I was a kind of a hub of a 
wheel, as you may say spokes made out of dogs circle of fifteen of them packed 
together around me, with their necks and noses stretched up towards me, a bark- 
ing and howling ; and more a coming ; you could see them sailing over fences 
and around corners from everywheres. 

A nigger woman come tearing out of the kitchen with a rolling-pin in her hand, 
singing out, " Begone ! you Tige ! you Spot ! begone, sah ! " and she fetched first 
one and then another of them a clip and sent him howling, and then the rest fol- 
lowed ; and the next second, half of them come back, wagging their tails around 
me and making friends with me. There ain't no harm in a hound, nohow. 

And behind the woman comes a little nigger girl and two little nigger boys, 
without anything on but tow-linen shirts, and they hung onto their mother's 
gown, and peeped out from behind her at me, bashful, the way they always do. 
And here comes the white woman running from the house, about forty-five or fifty 
year old, bareheaded, and her spinning-stick in her hand ; and behind her comes 



her little white children, acting the same way the little niggers was doing. She 
was smiling all over so she could hardly stand and says : 

" It's you, at last I ain't it ?" 

I out with a " Yes'm," before I thought. 

She grabbed me and hugged me tight ; and then gripped me by both hands 
and shook and shook ; and the 
tears come in her eyes, and run 
down over ; and she couldn't 
seem to hug and shake enough, 
and kept saying, " You don't 
look as much like your mother 
as I reckoned you would, but 
law sakes, I don't care for that, 
I'm so glad to see you ! Dear, 
dear, it does seem like I could 
eat you up ! Childern, it's your 
cousin Tom ! tell him howdy." 

But they ducked their heads, 
and put their fingers in their 
mouths, and hid behind her. So 
she run on : 

" Lize, hurry up and get him 
a hot breakfast, right away or 
did you get your breakfast on the 

I said I had got it on the boat. So then she started for the house, leading me 
by the hand, and the children tagging after. When we got there, she set me down 
in a split-bottomed chair, and set herself down on a little low stool in front of me, 
holding both of my hands, and says : 

" Now I can have a good look at you : and laws-a-me, I've been hungry for it 
a many and a many a time, all these long years, and it's come at last ! We been 
expecting you a couple of days and more. What's kep' you ? boat get aground ? " 



"Yes'm she " 

" Don't say yes'm say Aunt Sally. Where'd she get aground ? " 

I didn't rightly know what to say, because I didn't know whether the boat 
would be coming up the river or down. But I go a good deal on instinct ; and 
my instinct said she would be coming up from down towards Orleans. That 
did'nt help me much, though ; for I didn't know the names of bars down that way. 
I see I'd got to invent a bar, or forget the name of the one we got aground on 
or Now I struck an idea, and fetched it out : 

" It warn't the grounding that didn't keep us back but a little. We blowed 
out a cylinder-head." 

" Good gracious ! anybody hurt ? " 

" No'm. Killed a nigger." 

" Well, it's lucky ; because sometimes people do get hurt. Two years ago 
last Christmas, your uncle Silas was coming up from Newrleans on the old Laity 
Rook, and she blowed out a cylinder-head and crippled a man. And I think he 
died afterwards. He was a Babtist. Your uncle Silas knowed a family in Baton 
Rouge that knowed his people very well. Yes, I remember, now he did die. 
Mortification set in, and they had to amputate him. But it didn't save him. Yes, 
it was mortification that was it. He turned blue all over, and died in the hope 
of a glorious resurrection. They say he was a sight to look at. Your uncle's 
been up to the town every day to fetch you. And he's gone again, not more'n 
an hour ago ; he'll be back any minute, now. You must a met him on the road, 
didn't you ? oldish man, with a " 

" No, I didn't see nobody, Aunt Sally. The boat landed just at daylight, and 
I left my baggage on the wharf -boat and went looking around the town and out 
a piece in the country, to put in the time and not get here too soon ; and so I 
come down the back way." 

" Who'd you give the baggage to ? " 


" Why, child, it'll be stole ! " 

" Not where / hid it I reckon it won't," I says. 

" How'd you get your breakfast so early on the boat ? " 

UP A STUMP. 281 

It was kinder thin ice, but I says : 

" The captain see me standing around, and told me I better have something to 
eat before I went ashore ; so he took me in the texas to the officers' lunch, and 
give me all I wanted." 

I was getting so uneasy I couldn't listen good. I had my mind on the 
children all the time ; I wanted to get them out to one side, and pump them a 
little, and find out who I was. But I couldn't get no show, Mrs. Phelps kept it 
up and run on so. Pretty soon she made the cold chills streak all down my back, 
because she says : 

" But here we're a running on this way, and you hain't told me a word 
about Sis, nor any of them. Now I'll rest my works a little, and you start up 
yourn ; just tell me everything tell me all about 'm all every one of 'm ; and 
how they are, and what they're doing, and what they told you to tell me ; and 
every last thing you can think of." 

Well, I see I was up a stump and up it good. Providence had stood by me this 
fur, all right, but I was hard and tight aground, now. I see it warn't a bit of use 
to try to go ahead I'd got to throw up my hand. So I says to myself, here's 
another place where I got to resk the truth. I opened my mouth to begin ; but 
she grabbed me and hustled me in behind the bed, and says : 

" Here he comes ! stick your head down lower there, that'll do ; you can't be 
seen, now. Don't you let on you're here. I'll play a joke on him. Childern, 
don't you say a word." 

I see I was in a fix, now. But it warn't no use to worry ; there warn't nothing 
to do but just hold still, and try and be ready to stand from under when the 
lightning struck. 

I had just one little glimpse of the old gentleman when he come in, then the 
bed hid him. Mrs. Phelps she jumps for him and says : 

" Has he come ? " 

" No," says her husband. 

" Good-ness gracious ! " she says, " what in the world can have become of him ? " 

"I can't imagine," says the old gentleman ; "and 1 must say, it makes me 
dreadful .uneasy." 


"Uneasy !" she says, " I'm ready to go distracted ! He must a come ; and 
you've missed him along the road. I know it's so something tells me so." 

" Why Sally, I couldn't miss him along the road you know that." 

" But oh, dear, dear, what will Sis say ! He must a come ! You must a 
missed him. He " 

" Oh, don't distress me any more'n I'm already distressed. I don't know 
what in the world to make of it. I'm at my wit's end, and I don't mind ac- 
knowledging 't I'm right down scared. But there's no hope that he's come ; for 
he couldn't come and me miss him. Sally, it's terrible just terrible something's 
happened to the boat, sure ! n 

" Why, Silas ! Look yonder ! up the road ! ain't that somebody coming ? " 

He sprung to the window at the head of the bed, and that give Mrs. Phelps the 
chance she wanted. She stooped down quick, at the foot of the bed, and give me 
a pull, and out I come ; and when he turned back from the window, there she 
stood, a-beaming and a-smiling like a house afire, and I standing pretty meek 
and sweaty alongside. The old gentleman stared, and says : 

"Why, who's that?" 

"Who do you reckon 't is ? " 

" I haint no idea. Who is it ? " 

"It's Tom Sawyer!" 

By jings, I most slumped though the floor. But there warn't no time to swap 
knives ; the old man grabbed me by the hand and shook, and kept on shaking ; 
and all the time, how the woman did dance around and laugh and cry ; and then 
how they both did fire off questions about Sid, and Mary, and the rest of the 

But if they was joyful, it warn't nothing to what I was ; for it was like being 
born again, I was so glad to find out who I was. Well, they froze to me for two 
hours ; and at last when my chin was so tired it couldn't hardly go, any more, I 
had told them more about my family I mean the Sawyer family than ever 
happened to any six Sawyer families. And I explained all about how we blowed 
out a cylinder-head at the mouth of White Kiver and it took us three days to fix 
it. Which was all right, and worked first rate ; because they didn't know but 



If I'd a called it a bolt-head it would 

what it would take three days to fix it. 
a done just as well. 

Now I was feeling pretty com- 
fortable all down one side, and 
pretty uncomfortable all up 
the other. Being Tom Sawyer 
was easy and comfortable ; and 
it stayed easy and comfortable 
till by-and-by I hear a steamboat 
coughing along down the river 
then I says to myself, spose Tom 
Sawyer come down on that boat? 
and spose he steps in here, any 
minute, and sings out my name 
before I can throw him a wink 
to keep quiet ? Well, I couldn't 
have it that way it wouldn't do 
at all. I must go up the road 
and waylay him. So I told the 
folks I reckoned I would go up 
to the town and fetch down my 
baggage. The old gentleman was for going along with me, but I said no, I could 
drive the horse myself, and I druther he wouldn't take no trouble about me. 


started for town, in the wagon, and 
when I was half-way I see a wagon com- 
ing, and sure enough it was Tom Saw- 
yer, and I stopped and waited till he 
come along. 1 says "Hold on !" and 
it stopped alongside, and his mouth 
opened up like a trunk, and staid so ; 
and he swallowed two or three times 
like a person that's got a dry. throat, 
and then says : 

" I hain't ever done you no harm. 
You know that. So then, what you 
want to come back and ha'nt me for ? " 

I says : 

" I hain't come back I hain't been 


When he heard my voice, it righted him up some, but he warn't quite satis- 
fied yet. He says : 

" Don't you play nothing on me, because I wouldn't on you. Honest injun, 
now, you ain't a ghost ?" 

" Honest injun, I ain't," I says. 

" Well I I well, that ought to settle it, of course ; but I can't somehow 
seem to understand it, no way. Looky here, warn't you ever murdered at all ? " 

" No. I warn't ever murdered at all I played it on them. You come in 
here and feel of me if you don't believe me." 


So he done it ; and it satisfied him ; and he was that glad to see me again, he 
didn't know what to do. And he wanted to know all about it right off ; because 
it was a grand adventure, and mysterious, and so it hit him where he lived. But 
I said, leave it alone till by-and-by ; and told his driver to wait, and we drove off 
a little piece, and I told him the kind of a fix I was in, and what did he reckon 
we better do ? He said, let him alone a minute, and don't disturb him. So he 
thought and thought, and pretty soon he says : 

"It's all right, I've got it. Take my trunk in your wagon, and let on it's 
your'n ; and you turn back and fool along slow, so as to get to the house about the 
time you ought to ; and I'll go towards town a piece, and take a fresh start, and 
get there a quarter or a half an hour after you ; and you needn't let on to know 
me, at first." 

I says : 

" All right ; but wait a minute. There's one more thing a thing that no- 
body don't know but me. And that is, there's a nigger here that I'm a trying to 
steal out of slavery and his name is Jim old Miss Watson's Jim." 

He says : 

" What ! Why Jim is " 

He stopped and went to studying. I says : 

"I know what yon|ll say. You'll say it's dirty low-down business ; but what 
if it is ? 7'm low down ; and I'm agoing to steal him, and I want you to keep 
mum and not let on. Will you?" 

His eye lit up, and he says : 

" I'll help you steal him ! " 

Well, I let go all holts then, like I was shot. It was the most astonishing 
speech I ever heard and I'm bound to say Tom Sawyer fell, considerable, in my 
estimation. Only I couldn't believe it. Tom Sawyer a nigger stealer ! 

" Oh, shucks," I says, "you're joking." 

" I ain't joking, either." 

"Well, then," I says, "joking or no joking, if you hear anything said about 
a runaway nigger, don't forget to remember that you don't know nothing about 
him, and / don't know nothing about him." 


Then we took the trunk and put it in my wagon, and he drove off his way, 
and I drove mine. But of course I forgot all about driving slow, on accounts of 
being glad and full of thinking ; so I got home a heap too quick for that length 
of a trip. The old gentleman was at the door, and he says : 

" Why, this is wonderful. Who ever would a thought it was in that mare to 
do it. I wish we'd a timed her. And she hain't sweated a hair not a hair. 
It's wonderful. Why, I wouldn't take a hunderd dollars for that horse now; I 
wouldn't, honest ; and yet I'd a sold her for fifteen before, and thought 'twas 
all she was worth." 

That's all he said. He was the innocentest, best old soul I ever see. But it 
warn't surprising ; because he warn't only just a farmer, he was a preacher, too, 
and had a little one-horse log church down back of the plantation, which he 
built it himself at his own expense, for a church and school-house, and never 
charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too. There was plenty 
other farmer-preachers like that, and done the same way, down South. 

In about half an hour Tom's wagon drove up to the front stile, and Aunt 
Sally she see it through the window because it was only about fifty yards, and 

" Why, there's somebody come ! I wonder who 'tis ? Why, I do believe it's 
a stranger. Jimmy " (that's one of the children), "run and tell Lize to put on 
another plate for dinner." 

Everybody made a rush for the front door, because, of course, a stranger don't 
come every year, and so he lays over the yaller fever, for interest, when he does 
come. Tom was over the stile and starting for the house ; the wagon was spin- 
ning up the road for the village, and we was all bunched in the front door. Tom 
had his store clothes on, and an audience and that was always nuts for Tom 
Sawyer. In them circumstances it warn't no trouble to him to throw in an 
smount of style that was suitable. He warn't a boy to meeky along up that yard 
like a sheep ; no, he come ca'm and important, like the ram. When he got 
afront of us, he lifts his hat ever so gracious and dainty, like it was the lid of a 
box that had butterflies asleep in it and he didn't want to disturb them, and says : 

" Mr. Archibald Nichols, I presume ? " 



" No > m J D y>" sa l s tne old gentleman, "I'm sorry to say 't your driver has 
deceived you ; Nichols's place is down a matter of three mile more. Come in, 
come in." 

Tom he took a look back over his shoulder, and says, " Too late he's out of 

" Yes, he's gone, my son, and you 
must come in and eat your dinner 
with us ; and then we'll hitch up and 
take you down to Nichols's." 

" Oh, I can't make you so much 
trouble ; I couldn't think of it. I'll 
walk I don't mind the distance." 

" But we won't let you walk it 
wouldn't be Southern hospitality to 
do it. Come right in." 

"Oh, <7o,"says Aunt Sally; "it 
ain't a bit of trouble to us, not a bit 
in the world. You must stay. It's a 
long, dusty three mile, ana we can't 
let you walk. And besides, I've al- 
ready told 'em to put on another 
plate, when I see you coming ; so you 
mustn't disappoint us. Come right in, and make yourself at home." 

So Tom he thanked them very hearty and handsome, and let himself be per- 
suaded, and come in ; and when he was in, he said he was a stranger from Hicks- 
ville, Ohio, and his name was William Thompson and he made another bow. 

Well, he run on, and on, and on, making up stuff about Hicksville and every- 
body in it he could invent, and I getting a little nervious, and wondering how 
this was going to help me out of my scrape ; and at last, still talking along, he 
reached over and kissed Aunt Sally right on the mouth, and then settled back 
again in his chair, comfortable, and was going on talking ; but she jumped up 
and wiped it off with the back of her hand, and says : 



" You owdacious puppy ! " 

He looked kind of hurt, and says : 

"I'm surprised at you, m'am." 

" You're s'rp Why, what do you reckon / am ? I've a good notion to take 
and say, what do you mean by kissing me ? " 

He looked kind of humble, and says : 

"I didn't mean nothing, m'am. I didn't mean no harm. I I thought 
you'd like it." 

" Why, you born fool ! " She took up the spinning-stick, and it looked like 
it was all she could do to keep from giving him a crack with it. " What made 
you think I'd like it?" 

" Well, I don't know. Only, they they told me you would." 

"They told you I would. Whoever told you 's another lunatic. I never 
heard the beat of it. Who's they ? " 

"Why everybody. They all said so, m'am.'' 

It was all she could do to hold in ; and her eyes snapped, and her fingers 
worked like she wanted to scratch him ; and she says : 

" Who's * everybody ? ' Out with their names or therll be an idiot short." 

He got up and looked distressed, and fumbled his hat, and says : 

" I'm sorry, and I warn't expecting it. They told me to. They all told me 
to. They all said kiss her ; and said she'll like it. They all said it every one 
of them. But I'm sorry, m'am, and I won't do it no more I won't, honest." 

" You won't, won't you ? Well, I sh'd reckon you won't ! " 

" No'm, I'm honest about it ; I won't ever do it again. Till you ask me." 

"Till I ask you ! Well, I never see the beat of it in my born days ! I lay 
you'll be the Methusalem-numskull of creation before ever / ask you or the 
likes of you." 

"Well," he says, "it does surprise me so. I can't make it out, somehow. 
They said you would, and I thought you would. But " He stopped and looked 
around slow, like he wished he could run across a friendly eye, somewhere's ; and 
fetched up on the old gentleman's, and says, " Didn't you think she'd like me to 
kiss her, sir ?" 


"Why, no, I I well, no, I b'lieve I didn't." 

Then he looks on around, the same way, to me and says : 

" Tom, didn't you think Aunt Sally 'd open out her arms and say, ' Sid 
Sawyer ' " 

"My land!" she says, breaking in and jumping for him, "you impudent 
young rascal, to fool a body so " and was going to hug him, but he fended her 
off, and says : 

"No, not till you've asked me, first." 

So she didn't lose no time, but asked him ; and hugged him and kissed him, 
over and over again, and then turned him over to the old man, and he took what 
was left. And after they got a little quiet again, she says : 

" Why, dear me, I never see such a surprise. We warn't looking for you, at 
all, but only Tom. Sis never wrote to me ahout anybody coming but him." 

"It's because it warn't intended for any of us to come but Tom," he says ; 
"but I begged and begged, and at the last minute she let me come, too ; so, com- 
ing down the river, me and Tom thought it would be a first-rate surprise for him 
to come here to the house first, and for me to by-and-by tag along and drop in 
and let on to be a stranger. But it was a mistake, Aunt Sally. This ain't no 
healthy place for a stranger to come." 

"No not impudent whelps, Sid. You ought to had your jaws boxed; I hain't 
been so put out since I don't know when. But I don't care, I don't mind the 
terms I'd be willing to stand a thousand such jokes to have you here. Well, to 
think of that performance ! I don't deny it, I was most putrified with astonish- 
ment when you give me that smack." 

We hud dinner out in that broad open passage betwixt the house and the 
kitchen ; and there was things enough on that table for seven families and all 
hot, too ; none of your flabby tough meat that's laid in a cupboard in a dam]) 
cellar all night and tastes like a hunk of old cold cannibal in the morning. Uncle 
Silas he asked a pretty long blessing over it, but it was worth it ; and it didn't 
cool it a bit, neither, the way I've seen them kind of interruptions do, lots of times. 

There was a considerable good deal of talk, all the afternoon, and me and Tom 

was on the lookout all the time, but it warn't no use, they didn't happen to say 



nothing about any runaway nigger, and we was afraid to try to work up to it. 
But at supper, at night, one of the little boys says : 

" Pa. mayn't Tom and Sid and me go to the show ?" 

"No," says the old man, "I reckon there ain't going to be any; and you 
couldn't go if there was ; because the runaway nigger told Burton and me all 


about that scandalous show, and Burton said he would tell the people; so I reckon 
they've drove the owdacious loafers out of town before this time." 

So there it was ! but 7 couldn't help it. Tom and me was to sleep in the 
same room and bed ; so, being tired, we bid good-night and went up to bed, right 
after supper, and dumb out of the window and down the lightning-rod, and 
shoved for the town ; for I didn't believe anybody was going to give the king and 
the duke a hint, and so, if I didn't hurry up and give them one they'd get into 
trouble sure. 

On the road Tom he told me all about how it was reckoned I was murdered, 
and how pap disappeared, pretty soon, and didn t come back no more, and what 
a stir there was when Jim run away ; and I told Tom all about our Royal None- 
such rapscallions, and as much of the raft- voyage as I had time to ; and as we 


struck into the town and up through the middle of it it was as much as half- 
after eight, then here comes a raging rush of people, with torches, and an awful 
whooping and yelling, and banging tin pans and blowing horns ; and we jumped 
to one side to let them go by; and as they went by, I see they had the king and 
the duke astraddle of a rail that is, I knowed it was the king and the duke, 
though they was all over tar and feathers, and didn't look like nothing in the 
world that was human just looked like a couple of monstrous big soldier-plumes. 
Well, it made me sick to see it ; and I was sorry for them poor pitiful rascals, it 

seemed like I couldn't ever feel any hardness against them any more in the 
world. It was a dreadful thing to see. Human beings can be awful cruel to one 

We see we was too late couldn't do no .good. We asked some stragglers 
about it, and they said everybody went to the show looking very innocent ; and 
laid low and kept dark till the poor old king was in the middle of his cavortings 
on the stage ; then somebody give a signal, and the house rose up and went for 

So we poked along back home, and I warn't feeling so brash as I was before, 


but kind of ornery, and humble, and to blame, somehow though 1 hadn't done 
nothing. But that's always the way; it don't make no difference whether 
you do right or wrong, a person's conscience ain't got no sense, and just goes for 
him anyway. If I had a yaller dog that didn't know no more than a person's 
conscience does, I would pison him. It takes up more room than all the rest of 
a person's insides, and yet ain't no good, nohow. Tom Sawyer he says the same. 


We stopped talking, and got to thinking. 
By-and-by Tom says : 

" Looky here, Huck, what fools we 
are, to not think of it before ! I bet 
I know where Jim is." 
"No I Where?" 
"In that hut down by the ash- 
nopper. Why, looky here. When 
we was "at dinner, didn't you see a 
nigger man go in there with some 
vittles ?" 

"What did you think the vittles 
was for ? " 
"For a dog." 

"So'd I. Well, it wasn't for a 

" Because part of it was watermelon." 

" So it was I noticed it. Well, it does beat all, that I never thought about 
a dog not eating watermelon. It shows how a body can see and don't see at the 
same time." 

"Well, the nigger, unlocked the padlock when he went in, and he locked it 
again when he come out. He fetched uncle a key, about the time we got up 



from table same key, I bet. Watermelon shows man, lock shows prisoner ; and it 
ain't likely there's two prisoners on such a little plantation, and where the 
people's all so kind and good. Jim's the prisoner. All right I'm glad we found 
it out detective fashion ; I wouldn't give shucks for any other way. Now you 
work your mind and study out a plan to steal Jim, and I will study out one, too ; 
and we'll take the one we like the best." 

What a head for just a boy to have ! If I had Tom Sawyer's head, I wouldn't 
trade it off to be a duke, nor mate of a steamboat, nor clown in a circus, nor noth- 
ing I can think of. I went to thinking out a plan, but only just to be doing 
something ; I knowed very well where the right plan was going to come from. 
Pretty soon, Tom says : 


"Yes," I says. 

"All right bring it out." 

" My plan is this," I says. " We can easy find out if it's Jim in there. Then 
get up my canoe to-morrow night, and fetch my raft over from the island. Then 
the first dark night that comes, steal the key out of the old man's britches, after 
he goes to bed, and shove off down the river on the raft, with Jim, hiding day- 
times and running nights, the way me and Jim used to do before. Wouldn't that 
plan work ? " 

" Work ? Why cert'nly, it would work, like rats a fighting. But it's too blame' 
simple ; there ain't nothing to it. What's the good of a plan that ain't no more 
trouble than that ? It's as mild as goose-milk. Why, Huck, it wouldn't make 
no more talk than breaking into a soap factory." 

I never said nothing, because I warn't expecting nothing different; but I 
knowed mighty well that whenever he got his plan ready it wouldn't have none of 
them objections to it. 

And it didn't. He told me what it was, and I see in a minute it was worth 
fifteen of mine, for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, 
and maybe get us all killed besides. So I was satisfied, and said we would waltz 
in on it. I needn't tell what it was, here, because I knowed it wouldn't stay the 
way it was. I knowed he would be changing it around, every which way, as we 


went along, and heaving in new bullinesses wherever he got a chance. And that 
is what he done. 

Well, one thing was dead sure ; and that was, that Tom Sawyer was in earnest 
and was actuly going to help steal that nigger out of slavery. That was the thing 
that was too many for me. Here was a boy that was respectable, and well brung 
up ; and had a character to lose ; and folks at home that had characters ; and he 
was bright and not leather-headed ; and knowing and not ignorant ; and not 
mean, but kind ; and yet here he was, without any more pride, or rightness, or 
feeling, than to stoop to this business, and make himself a shame, and his family 
a shame, before everybody. I couldn't understand it, no way at all. It was out- 
rageous, and I knowed I ought to just up and tell him so ; and so be his true 
friend, and let him quit the thing right where he was, and save himself. And I 
did start to tell him ; but he shut me up, and says : 

" Don't you reckon I know what I'm about ? Don't I generly know what I'm 


" Didn't I say I was going to help steal the nigger ? " 


" Well then." 

That's all he said, and that's all I said. It warn't no use to say any more ; 
because when he said he'd do a thing, he always done it. But / couldn't 
make out how he was willing to go into this thing ; so I just let it go, and 
never bothered no more about it. If he was bound to have it so, 1 couldn't 
help it. 

When we got home, the house was all dark and still ; so we went on down to 
the hut by the ash- hopper, for to examine it. We went through the yard, so as 
to see what the hounds would do. They knowed us, and didn't make no more 
noise than country dogs is always doing when anything comes by in the night. 
When we got to the cabin, we took a look at the front and the two sides ; and on 
the side I warn't acquainted with which was the north side we found a square 
window-hole, up tolerable high, with just one stout board nailed across it. I 
says : 



" Here's the ticket. This hole's big enough for Jim to get through, if we 
wrench off the board." 
Tom says : 

" It's as simple as tit-tat-toe, three-in-a-row, and as easy as playing hooky. I 
should hope we can find a way that's a little more complicated than that, Huck 

"Well then," I says, 
" how'll it do to saw him out, 
the way I done before I was 
murdered, that time ?" 

"That's more Ufa," he 
says. "It's real mysterious, and 
troublesome, and good," he 
says ; " but I bet we can find 
a way that's twice as long. 
There ain't no hurry; le's keep 
on looking around." 

Betwixt the hut and the 
fence, on the back side, was a 
lean-to, that joined the hut at 
the eaves, and was made out of 
plank. It was as long as the 
hut, but narrow only about 
six foot wide. The door to it 
was at the south end, and was 
padlocked. Tom he went to 
the soap kettle, and searched 
around and fetched back the iron thing they lift the lid with ; so he took it and 
prized out one of the staples. The chain fell down, and we opened the door 
and went in, and shut it, and struck a match, and see the shed was only built against 
the cabin and hadn't no connection with it ; and there warn't no floor to the shed, 
nor nothing in it but some old rusty played-out hoes, and spades, and picks, and 



a crippled plow. The match went out, and so did we, and shoved in the staple 
again, and the door was locked as good as ever. Tom was joyful. He says : 

" Now we're all right. We'll dig him out. It'll take about a week ! " 

Then we started for the house, and I went in the back door you only have to 
pull a buckskin latch-string, they don't fasten the doors but that warn't roman- 
tical enough for Tom Sawyer : no way would do him but he must climb up the 
lightning-rod. But after he got up half -way- about three times, and missed fire 
and fell every time, and the last time most busted his brains out, he thought he'd 
got to give it up ; but after he was rested, he allowed he would give her one more 
turn for luck, and this time he made the trip. 

In the morning we was up at break of day, and down to the nigger cabins to 
pet the dogs and make friends with the nigger that fed Jim if it was Jim that 
was being fed. The niggers was just getting through breakfast and starting for 
the fields ; and Jim's nigger was piling up a tin pan with bread and meat and 
things ; and whilst the others was leaving, the key come from the house. 

This nigger had a good-natured, chuckle-headed face, and his wool was all tied 
up in little bunches with thread. That was to keep witches off. He said the 
witches was pestering him awful, these nights, and making him see all kinds of 
strange things, and hear all kinds of strange words and noises, and he didn't be- 
lieve he was ever witched so long, before, in his life. He got so worked up, and 
got to runinng on so about his troubles, he forgot all about what he'd been agoing 
to do. So Tom says : 

" What's the vittles for ? Going to feed the dogs ? " 

The nigger kind of smiled around graduly over his face, like when you heave 
a brickbat in a mud puddle, and he says : 

" Yes, Mars Sid, a dog. Cur'us dog, too. Does you want to go en look r.t 


I hunched Tom, and whispers : 

" You going, right here in the day-break ? That warn't the plan." 

"No, it warn't but it's the plan now." 

So, drat him, we went along, but I didn't like it much. When we got in, 


we couldn't hardly see anything, it was so dark ; but Jim was there, sure enough, 
and could see us ; and he sings out : 

" Why, HucTc ! En good Ian 7 ! ain' dat Misto Tom ? 

I just knowed how it would be ; I just expected it. / didn't know nothing to 
do; and if I had, I couldn't a done it ; because that nigger busted in and says : 

" Why, de gracious sakes ! do he know you genlmen ? " 

We could see pretty well, now. Tom he looked at the nigger, steady and 
kind of wondering, and says : 

"Does who know us ?" 

" Why, dish-yer runaway nigger." 

" I don't reckon he does ; but what put that into your head ? " 

" What put it dar ? Didn' he jis' dis minute sing out like he knowed you ? " 

Tom says, in a puzzled-up kind of way : 

" Well, that's mighty curious. Who sung out ? When did he sing out ? What 
did he sing out ?" And turns to me, perfectly c'am, and says, "Did you hear 
anybody sing out ? " 

Of course there warn't nothing to be said but the one thing ; so I says : 

" No ; /ain't heard nobody suy nothing." 

Then he turns to Jim, and looks him over like he never see him before ; and 

"Did you sing out?" 

"No, sah," says Jim ; "/hain't said nothing, sah." 

" Not a word ? " 

"No, sah, I hain't said a word." 

" Did you ever see us before ? " 

" No, sah ; not as / knows on." 

So Tom turns to the nigger, which was looking wild and distressed, and says, 
kind of severe : 

." What do you reckon's the matter with you, anyway ? What made you 
think somebody sung out ? " 

"Oh, it's de dad-blame' witches, sah, en I wisht I was dead, I do. Dey's 
awluz at it, sah, en dey do mos' kill me, dey sk'yers me so. Please to don't 



tell nobody 'bout it sah, er ole Mars Silas he'll scole me ; 'kase he say dey 
ain't no witches. I jis' wish to goodness he was heah now den what would he 
say ! I jis' bet he couldn' fine no way to git aroun' it dis time. But it's awluz 
jis' so ; people dat's sot, stays sot ; dey won't look into notlm' en fine it out 
fr deyselves, en when you fine it out en tell uui 'bout it, dey doan' b'lieve you." 

Tom give him a dime, and 
said we wouldn't tell no- 
body ; and told him to buy 
some more thread to tie up his 
wool with ; and then looks at 
Jim, and says : 

"I wonder if Uncle Silas 
is going to hang this nigger. 
If I was to catch a nigger that 
was ungrateful enough to run 
away, / wouldn't give him up, 
I'd hang him." And whilst 
the nigger stepped to the 
door to look at the dime and 
bite it to see if it was good, 
he whispers to Jim, and says: 

" Don't ever let on to know 
us. And if you hear any dig- 
ging going on nights, it's us : 
we're going to set you free." 

Jim only had time to grab us by the hand and squeeze it, then the nigger 
come back, and we said we'd come again some time if the nigger wanted ns to ; 
and he said he would, more particular if it was dark, because the witches went 
for him mostly in the dark, and it was good to have folks around then. 

Cl } 4~ \/\/ \/\ 1 

(mpter XXX Y ( 


lit would be most an hour, yet, till 

breakfast, so we left, and struck 
down into the woods ; because Tom 
said we got to have some light to 
see how to dig by, and a lantern 
makes too much, and might get us 
into trouble ; what we must have 
was a lot of them rotten chunks 
that's called fox-fire and just makes 
a soft kind of a glow when you lay 
them in a dark place. We fetched 
an armful and hid it in the weeds, 
and set down to rest, and Tom says, 
kind of dissatisfied : 

" Blame it, this whole thing is 
just as easy and awkard as it can 
be. And so it makes it so rotten 
difficult to get up a difficult plan. 
There ain't no watchman to be 
drugged now there ought to be a watchman. There ain't even a dog to give a 
sleeping-mixture to. And there's Jim chained by one leg, with a ten-foot chain, 
to the leg of his bed : why, all you got to do is to lift up the bedstead and slip off 
the chain. And Uncle Silas he trusts everybody ; sends the key to the punkin- 
headed nigger, and don't send nobody to watch the nigger. Jim could a got out 
of that window hole before this, only there wouldn't be no use trying to travel 


with a ten-foot chain on his leg. Why, drat it, Huck, it's the stupidest arrange- 
ment I ever see. You got to invent all the difficulties. Well, we can't help it, 
we got to do the best we can with the materials we've got. Anyhow, there's one 
thing there's more honor in getting him out through a lot of difficulties and 
dangers, where there warn't one of them furnished to you by the people who it 
was their duty to furnish them, and you had to contrive them all out of your own 
head. Now look at just that one thing of the lantern. When you come down 
to the cold facts, we simply got to let on that a lantern's resky. Why, we could 
work with a torchlight procession if we wanted to, / believe. Now, whilst I 
think of it, we got to hunt up something to make a saw out of, the first chance 
we get." 

" What do we want of a saw ? " 

' What do we want of it ? Hain't we got to saw the leg of Jim's bed off, so 
as to get the chain loose ? " 

"Why, you just said a body could lift up the bedstead and slip the 
chain off." 

" Well, if that ain't just like you, Huck Finn. You can get up the infant- 
schooliest ways of going at a thing. Why, hain't you ever read any books at 
all ? Baron Trenck, nor Casanova, nor Benvenuto Chelleeny, nor Henri IV., 
nor none of them heroes ? Whoever heard of getting a prisoner loose in such an 
old-maidy way as that ? No ; the way all the best authorities does, is to saw the 
bed-leg in two, and leave it just so, and swallow the sawdust, so it can't be found, 
and put some dirt and grease around the sawed place so the very keenest seneskal 
can't see no sign of it's being sawed, and thinks the bed-leg is perfectly sound. 
Then, the night you're ready, fetch the leg a kick, down she goes ; slip off your 
chain, and there you are. Nothing to do but hitch your rope-ladder to the battle- 
ments, shin down it, break your leg in the moat because a rope-ladder is 
nineteen foot too short, you know and there's your horses and your trusty vassles, 
and they scoop you up and fling you across a saddle and away you go, to your 
native Langudoc, or Navarre, or wherever it is. It's gaudy, Huck. I wish there 
was a moat to this cabin. If we get time, the night of the escape, we'll dig 



I says : 

" What do we want of a moat, when we're going to snake him out from under 
the cabin ? " 

But he never heard me. He had forgot me and everything else. He had his 
chin in his hand, thinking. Pretty soon, he sighs, and shakes his head ; then 
sighs again, and says : 

" No, it wouldn't do there ain't necessity enough for it." 
"For what?" I says. 
" Why, to saw Jim's leg off," he says. 

"Good land !" I says, "why, there ain't no necessity for it. And what 

would you want to saw his leg 
off for, anyway ? " 

"Well, some of the best 
authorities has done it. They 
couldn't get the chain off, so 
they just cut their hand off, and 
shoved. And a leg would be 
better still. But we got to let 
that go. There ain't necessity 
enough in this case ; and besides, 
Jim's a nigger and wouldn't 
understand the reasons for it, 
and how it's the custom in Eu- 
rope ; so we'll let it go. But 
there's one thing he can have a 
rope-ladder ; we can tear up our 
sheets and make him a rope- 
ladder easy enough. And we 
can send it to him in a pie ; it's 


mostly done that way. And Pve et worse pies." 

" Why, Tom Sawyer, how you talk," I says j " Jim ain't got no use for a rope- 


" He has got use for it. How you talk, you better say ; you don't know 
nothing about it. He's got to have a rope ladder ; they all do." 
" What in the nation can he do with it ?" 

"Do with it ? He can hide it in his bed, can't he ? That's what they all 
do ; and lie's got to, too. Huck, you don't ever seem to want to do anything 
that's regular ; you want to be starting something fresh all the time. Spose he 
don't do nothing with it ? ain't it there in his bed, for a clew, after he's gone ? 
and don't you reckon they'll want clews ? Of course they will. And you 
wouldn't leave them any? That would be a pretty howdy-do, wouldn't it 1 I 
never heard of such a thing." 

" Well," I says, "if it's in the regulations, and he's got to have it, all right, 
let him have it ; because I don't wish to go back on no regulations ; but there's 
one thing, Tom Sawyer if we go to tearing up our sheets to make Jim a rope- 
ladder, we're going to get into trouble with Aunt Sally, just as sure as you're 
born. Now, the way I look at it, a hickry-bark ladder don't cost nothing, and 
don't waste nothing, and is just as good to load up a pie with, and hide in a straw 
tick, as any rag ladder you can start ; and as for Jim, he ain't had no experience, 
and so Tie don't care what kind of a " 

"Oh, shucks, Huck Finn, if I was as ignorant as you, I'd keep still that's 
what rd do. Who ever heard of a state prisoner escaping by a hickry-bark 
ladder ? Why, it's perfectly ridiculous." 

" Well, all right, Tom, fix it your own way ; but if you'll take my advice, 
you'll let me borrow a sheet off of the clothes-line." 

He said that would do. And that give him another idea, and he says : 

" Borrow a shirt, too." 

" What do we want of a shirt, Tom ? " 

"Want it for Jim to keep a journal on." 

"Journal your granny Jim can't write." 

" Spose he can't write he can make marks on the shirt, can't he, if we 
make him a pen out of an old pewter spoon or a piece of an old iron barrel-hoop ?" 

"Why, Tom, we can pull a feather out of a goose and make him a better one ; 
and quicker, too," 


" Prisoners don't have geese running around the donjon-keep to pull pens out 
of, you muggins. They always make their pens out of the hardest, toughest, 
troublesomest piece of old brass candlestick or something like that they can get 
their hands on ; and it takes them weeks and weeks, and months and months 
to file it out, too, because they've got to do it by rubbing it on the wall. They 
wouldn't use a goose-quill if they had it. It ain't regular." 

"Well, then, what'll we make him the ink out of ?" 

"Many makes it out of iron-rust and tears ; but that's the common sort and 
women ; the best authorities uses their own blood. Jim can do that ; and when he 
wants to send any little common ordinary mysterious message to let the world know 
where he's captivated, he can write it on the bottom of a tin plate with a fork and 
throw it out of the window. The Iron Mask always done that, and it's a blame' 
good way, too." 

"Jim ain't got no tin plates. They feed him in a pan." 

"That ain't anything ; we can get him some." 

" Can't nobody read his plates." 

" That ain't got nothing to do with it, Huck Finn. All he's got to do is to 
write on the plate and throw it out. You don't have to be able to read it. Why, 
half the time you can't read anything a prisoner writes on a tin plate, or any- 
where else." 

"Well, then, what's the sense in wasting the plates ?" 

"Why, blame it all, it ain't the prisoner's plates." 

" But it's somebody's plates, ain't it ? " 

" Well, spos'n it is ? What does the prisoner care whose " 

He broke off there, because we heard the breakfast-horn blowing. So we 
cleared out for the house. 

Along during that morning I borrowed a sheet and a white shirt off of the 
clothes-line ; and I found an old sack and put them in it, and we went down and 
got the fox-fire, and put that in too. I called it borrowing, because that was 
what pap always called it ; but Tom said it warn't borrowing, it was stealing. 
He said we was representing prisoners ; and prisoners don't care how they get a 
thing so they get it, and nobody don't blame them for it, either. It ain't no 



crime in a prisoner to steal the thing he needs to get away with, Tom said ; it's 
his right ; and so, as long as 

we was representing a pris- t^a^ M, .1, I, 

oner, we had a perfect right 
to steal anything on this 
place we had the least use 
for, to get ourselves out of 
prison with. He said if we 
warn't prisoners it would be 
a very different thing, and 
nobody but a mean ornery 
person would steal when he 
warn't a prisoner. So we 
allowed we would steal every- 
thing there was that come 
handy. And yet he made a 
mighty fuss, one day, after 
that, when I stole a water- 
melon out of the nigger patch 
and eat it ; and he made me 
go and give the niggers a 
dime, without telling them 
what it was for. Tom said 
that what he meant was, we 

could steal anything we needed. Well, I says, I needed the watermelon. But 
he said I didn't need it to get out of prison with, there's where the difference 
was. He said if I'd a wanted it to hide a knife in, and smuggle it to Jim to kill 
the seneskal with, it would a been all right. So I let it go at that, though I 
couldn't see no advantage in my representing a prisoner, if I got to set down and 
chaw over a lot of gold-leaf distinctions like that, every time I see a chance to hog 
a watermelon. 

Well, as I was saying, we waited that morning till everybody was settled 



down to business, and nobody in sight around the yard ; then Tom he carried the 
sack into the lean-to whilst I stood off a piece to keep watch. By-and-by he 
come out, and we went and set down on the wood-pile, to talk. He says : 

"Everything's all right, now, except tools ? and that's easy fixed." 

"Tools?" I says. 


"Tools for what?" 

" Why, to dig with. We ain't agoing to gnaw him out, are we ? " 

"Ain't, them old crippled picks and things in there good enough to dig a 
nigger out with ? " I says. 

He turns on me looking pitying enough to make a body cry, and says : 

" Huck Finn, did you ever hear of a prisoner having picks and shovels, and all 
the modern conveniences in his wardrobe to dig himself out with ? Now I want 
to ask you if you got any reasonableness in you at all what kind of a show 
would that give him to be a hero ? Why, they might as well lend him the key, 
and done with it. Picks and shovels why they wouldn't furnish 'em to a 

" Well, then," I says, " if we don't want the picks and shovels, what do we 

"A couple of case-knives." 

" To dig the foundations out from under that cabin with ?" 


" Confound it, it's foolish, Tom." 

"It don't make no difference how foolish it is, it's the right way and it's the 
regular way. And there ain't no other way, that ever / heard of, and I've read 
all the books that gives any information about these things. They always dig 
out with a case-knife and not through dirt, mind you ; generly it's through 
solid rock. And it takes them weeks and weeks and weeks, and for ever and 
ever. Why, look at one of them prisoners in the bottom dungeon of the Castle 
Deef, in the harbor of Marseilles, that dug himself out that way ; how long wai 
he at it, you reckon ? " 
f'l don't know." 



"Well, guess." 

" I don't know. A month and a half ? " 

" Thirty-seven year and he come out in China. TTiat's the kind. I wish 
the bottom of this fortress was solid rock." 

"Jim don't know nobody in China." 

" What's that got to do with it ? Neither did that other fellow. But you're 
always a-wandering off on a side issue. Why can't you stick to the main point ? " 

"All right / don't care where he 
comes out, so he comes out ; and Jim 
don't, either, I reckon. But there's one 
thing, anyway Jim's too old to be dug 
out with a case-knife. He won't last." 

" Yes he will last, too. You don't 
reckon it's going to take thirty-seven 
years to dig out through a dirt founda- 
tion, do you ? " 

" How long will it take, Tom ?" 

" Well, we can't resk being as long 
as we ought to, because it mayn't take 
very long for Uncle Silas to hear from 
down there by New Orleans. He'll hear 
Jim ain't from there. Then his next 
move will be to advertise Jim, or some- 
thing like that. So we can't resk being 
as long digging him out as we ought to. 
By rights I reckon we ought to be a 
couple of years ; but we can't. Things 
being so uncertain, what I recommend is 

this : that we really dig right in, as quick as we can ; and after that, we can let 
on, to ourselves, that we was at it thirty-seven years. Then we can snatch him 
out and rush him away the first time there's an alarm. Yes, I reckon that'll be 
the best way " 



"Now, there's sense in that," I says. "Letting on don't cost nothing; 
letting on ain't no trouble ; and if it's any object, I don't mind letting on we was 
at it a hundred and fifty year. It wouldn't strain me none, after I got my hand 
in. So I'll mosey along now, and smouch a couple of case-knives." 

" Smouch three," he says ; " we want one to make a saw out of." 

''Tom, if it ain't unregular and irreligious to sejest it," I says, "there's an 
old rusty saw-blade around yonder sticking under the weatherboarding behind 
the smoke-house." 

He looked kind of weary and discouraged-like, and says : 

" It ain't no use to try to learn you nothing, Huck. Run along and smouch 
the knives three of them." So I done it. 


7\S soon as we reckoned everybody 
was asleep, that night, we went down 
the lightning-rod, and shut ourselves 
up in the lean-to, and got out our 
pile of fox-fire, and went to work. 
We cleared everything out of the way, 
about four or five foot along the mid- 
dle of the bottom log. Tom said he 
was right behind Jim's bed now, and 
we'd dig in under it, and when we got 
through there couldn't nobody in the 
cabin ever know there was any hole 
there, because Jim's counterpin hung 
down most to the ground, and you'd 
have to raise it up and look under to 
see the hole. So we dug and dug, 
with the case-knives, till most mid- 
night ; and then we was dog-tired, and 
our hands was blistered, and yet you 
couldn't see we'd done anything, hardly. At last I says : 

" This ain't no thirty-seven year job, this is a thirty-eight year job, Tom 

He never said nothing. But he sighed, and pretty soon he stopped dig- 
ging, and then for a good little while I knowed he was thinking. Then he 
savs : 



'* It ain't no use, Huck, it ain't agoing to work. If we was prisoners it 
would, because then we'd have as many years as we wanted, and no hurry ; and 
we wouldn't get but a few minutes to dig, every day, while they was changing 
watches, and so our hands wouldn't get blistered, and we could keep it up right 
along, year in and year out, and do it right, and the way it ought to be done. 
But we can't fool along, we got to rush; we ain't got no time to spare. If we was 
to put in another night this way, we'd have to knock off for a week to let our 
hands get well couldn't touch a case-knife with them sooner." 

" Well, then, what we going to do, Tom ? " 

" I'll tell you. It ain't right, and it ain't moral, and I wouldn't like it to get 
out but there ain't only just the one way; we got to dig him out with the picks, 
and let on it's case-knives." 

"Now you're talking!" I says ; "your head gets leveler and leveler all the 
time, Tom Sawyer," I says. " Picks is the thing, moral or no moral ; and as for 
me, I don't care shucks for the morality of it, nohow. When,! start in to steal 
a nigger, or a watermelon, or a Sunday-school book, I ain't no ways particular 
how it's done so it's done. What I want is my nigger ; or what I want is my 
watermelon ; or what I want is my Sunday-school book ; and if a pick's the hand- 
iest thing, that's the thing I'm agoing to dig that nigger or that watermelon or 
that Sunday-school book out with ; and I don't give a dead rat what the authori- 
ties thinks about it nuther." 

"Well," he says, "there's excuse for picks and letting-on in a case like this'; 
if it warn't so, I wouldn't approve of it, nor I wouldn't stand by and see the rules 
broke because right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain't got no busi- 
ness doing wrong when he ain't ignorant and knows better. It might answer for 
you to dig Jim out with a pick, without any letting-on, because you don't know 
no better ; but it wouldn't for me, because I do know better. Gimme a case- 

He had his own by him, but I handed him mine. He flung it down, and 

" Gimme a case-knife." 

I didn't know just what to do but then I thought. I scratched around 



amongst the old tools, and got a pick-ax and give it to him, and he took it and 
went to work, and never said a word. 

He was always just that particular. Full of principle 

So then I got a shovel, and then we picked and shoveled, turn about, and 
made the fur fly. We stuck to it 
about a half an hour, which was as 
long as we could stand up ; but we 
had a good deal of a hole to show 
for it. When I got up stairs, I 
looked out at the window and see 
Tom doing his level best with the 
lightning-rod, but he couldn't come 
it, his hands was so sore. At last 
he says: 

" It ain't no use, it can't be 
done. What you reckon I better 
do ? Can't you think up no way ? " 

"Yes," I says, "but I reckon 
it ain't regular. Come up the 
stairs, and let on it's a lightning- 

So he done it. 

Next day Tom stole a pewter 
spoon and a brass candlestick in the 
house, for to make some pens for Jim out of, and six tallow candles ; and I hung 
around the nigger cabins, and laid for a chance, and stole three tin plates. Tom 
said it wasn't enough; but I said nobody wouldn't ever see the plates that Jim 
thro wed out, because they'd fall in the dog-fennel and jimpson weeds under the 
window-hole then we could tote them back and he could use them over again. 
So Tom was satisfied. Then he says : 

" Now, the thing to study out is, how to get the things to Jim." 

" Take them in through the hole," I says, " when we get it done." 



He only just looked scornful, and said something about nobody ever heard of 
such an idiotic idea, and then he went to studying. By-and-by he said he had 
ciphered out two or three ways, but there warn't no need to decide on any of 
them yet. Said we'd got to post Jim first. 

That night we went down the lightning-rod a little after ten, and took one of 
the candles along, and listened under the window-hole, and heard Jim snoring ; 
so we pitched it in, and it didn't wake him. Then we whirled in with the pick 
and shovel, and in about two hours and a half the job was done. We crept in 
under Jim's bed and into the cabin, and pawed around and found the candle and 
lit it, and stood over Jim a while, and found him looking hearty and healthy, and 
then we woke him up gentle and gradual. He was so glad to see us he most 
cried ; and called us honey, and all the pet names he could think of ; and was for 
having us hunt up a cold chisel to cut the chain off of his leg with, right away, 
and clearing out without losing any time. But Tom he showed him how un- 
regular it would be, and set down and told him all about our plans, and how we 
could alter them in a minute any time there was an alarm; and not to be the least 
afraid, because we would see he got away, sure. So Jim he said it was all right, 
and we set there and talked over old times a while, and then Tom asked a lot of 
questions, and when Jim told him Uncle Silas come in every day or two to pray 
with him, and Aunt Sally come in to see if he was comfortable and had plenty to 
eat, and both of them was kind as they could be, Tom says : 

"Now I know how to fix it. We'll send you some things by them." 

I said, " Don't do nothing of the kind ; it's one of the most jackass ideas I 
ever struck ;" but he never paid no attention to me ; went right on. It was his 
way when he'd got his plans set. 

So he told Jim how we'd have to smuggle in the rope-ladder pie, and other largo 
things, by Nat, the nigger that fed him, and he must be on the lookout, and not 
be surprised, and not let Nat see him open them ; and we would put small things 
m uncle's coat pockets and he must steal them out ; and we would tie things to 
aunt's apron strings or put them in her apron pocket, if we got a chance ; and 
told him what they would be and what they was for. And told him how to keep 
a journal on the shirt with his blood, and all that. He told him everything. 


Jim he couldn't see no sense in the most of it, but he albwed we was white folks 
and knowed better than him ; so he was satisfied, and said he would do it all just 
as Tom said. 

Jim had plenty corn-cob pipes and tobacco ; so we had a right down good 
sociable time ; then we crawled out through the hole, and so home to bed, with 
hands that looked like they'd been chawed. Tom was in high spirits. He said 
it was the best fun he ever had in his life, and the most intellegtural ; and said if 
he only could see his way to it we would keep it up all the rest of our lives 
and leave Jim to our children to get out ; for he believed Jim would come 
to like it better and better the more he got used to it. He said that in that 
way it could be strung out to as much as eighty year, and would be the best 
time on record. And he said it would make us all celebrated that had a hand 
in it. 

In the morning we went out to the wood -pile and chopped up the brass candle- 
stick into handy sizes, and Tom put them and the pewter spoon in his pocket. 
Then we went to the nigger cabins, and while I got Nat's notice off, Tom shoved 
a piece of candlestick into the middle of a corn-pone that was in Jim's pan, and 
we went along with Nat to see how it would work, and it just worked noble ; 
when Jim bit into it it most mashed all his teeth out ; and there warn't ever any- 
thing could a worked better. Tom said so himself. Jim he never let on but what 
it was only just a piece of rock or something like that that's always getting into 
bread, you know ; but after that he never bit into nothing but what he jabbed his 
fork into it in three or four places, first. 

And whilst we was a standing there in the dimmish light, here comes a couple 
of the hounds bulging in, from under Jim's bed ; and they kept on piling in till 
there was eleven of them, and there warn't hardly room in there to get your 
breath. By jings, we forgot to fasten that lean-to door. The nigger Nat he 
only just hollered "witches !" once, and keeled over onto the floor amongst the 
dogs, and begun to groan like he was dying. Tom jerked the door open and 
flung out a slab of Jim's meat, and the dogs went for it, and in two seconds he 
was out himself and back again and shut the door, and I knowed he'd fixed the 
other door too. Then he went to work on the nigger, coaxing him and petting 



him, and asking him if he'd been imagining he saw something again. He raised 
up, and blinked his eyes around, and says : 

" Mars Sid, you'll say I's a fool, but if I didn't b'lieve I see most a million 
dogs, er devils, er some'n, I wisht I may die right heah in dese tracks. I did, mos' 
sholy. Mars Sid, I felt um I felt um, sah ; dey was all over me. Dad fetch it, 

I jis' wisht I could git my han's 
on one er dem witches jis' wunst 
on'y jis' wunst it's all 7'd 
ast. But mos'ly I wisht dey'd 
lemme 'lone, I does." 
Tom says: 

" Well, I tell you what 1 
think. What makes them come 
here just at this runaway nig- 
ger's breakfast-time ? It's be- 
cause they're hungry; that's the 
reason. You make them a 
witch pie ; that's the thing for 
you to do." 

"But my Ian', Mars Sid, 
how's / gwyne to make 'm a 
witch pie ? I doan' know how 
to make it. I hain't ever hearn 
er sich a thing b'fo.'" 

"Well, then, I'll have to 
make it myself." 

" Will you do it, honey ? will you ? I'll wusshup de groun' und' yo' foot, I 
will ! " 

''All right, I'll do it, seeing it's you, and you've been good to us and showed 
us the runaway nigger. But you got to be mighty careful. When we come 
around, you turn your back ; and then whatever we've put in the pan, don't you 
let on you see it at all. And don't you look, when Jim unloads the pan some- 



thing might happen, I don't know what. And above all, don't you handle the 

"Hannel 'm Mars Sid ? What is you a talkin' 'bout ? I wouldn' lay de 
weight er my finger on um, not f'r ten huud'd thous'n' billion dollars, I 

was all fixed. So then we went away 
and went to the rubbage-pile in the 
back yard where they keep the old 
boots, and rags, and pieces of 
bottles, and wore-out tin things, 
and all such truck, and scratched 
around and found an old tin wash- 
pan and stopped up the holes as well 
as we could, to bake the pie in, and 
took it down cellar and stole it full 
of flour, and started for breakfast 
and found a couple of shingle-nails 
that Tom said would be handy for a 
prisoner to scrabble his name and 
sorrows on the dungeon walls with, 
and dropped one of them in Aunt 
Sally's apron pocket which was hanging on a chair, and t'other we stuck in the 
band of Uncle Silas's hat, which was on the bureau, because we heard the 
children say their pa and ma was going to the runaway nigger's hou- this morn- 
ing, and then went to breakfast, and Tom dropped the pewter spoon in Uncle 
Silas's coat pocket, and Aunt Sally wasn't come yet, so we had to wait a little 

And when she come she was hot, and red, and cross, and couldn't hardly wait 
for the blessing ; and then she went to sluicing out coffee with one hand and 



cracking the handiest child's head with her thimble with the other, and 
says : 

" I've hunted high, and I've hunted low, and it does beat all, what ha* be- 
come of your other shirt." 

My heart fell down amongst my lungs and livers and things, and a hard piece 
of corn-crust started down my throat after it and got met on the road with a 
cough and was shot across the table and took one of the children in the 
eye and curled him up like a fishing-worm, and let a cry out of him the size of a 
war-whoop, and Tom he turned kinder blue around the gills, and it all 
amounted to a considerable state of things for about a quarter of a minute or as 
much as that, and I would a sold out for half price if there was a bidder. But 
after that we was all right again it was the sudden surprise of it that knocked 
us so kind of cold. Uncle Silas he says : 

" It's most uncommon curious, I can't understand it. I know perfectly well 
I took it off, because " 

" Because you hain't got but one on. Just listen at the man ! / know you 
took it off, and know it by a better way than your wool-gethering memory, too, 
because it was on the clo'es-line yesterday I see it there myself. But it's gone 
that's the long and the short of it, and you'll just have to change to a red flann'l 
one till I can get time to make a new one. And it'll be the third I've made in two 
years ; it just keeps a body on the jump to keep you in shirts ; and whatever you do 
manage to do with 'm all, is more'n / can make out. A body'd think you would 
learn to take some sort of care of 'em, at your time of life." 

" I know it, Sally, and I do try all I can. But it oughtn't to be altogether 
my fault, because you know I don't see them nor have nothing to do with them 
except when they're on me ; and I don't believe I've ever lost one of them ojf 
of me." 

" Well, it ain't your fault if you haven't, Silas you'd a done it if you could, 
I reckon. And the shirt ain't all that's gone, nuther. Ther's a spoon gone ; and 
that ain't all. There was ten, and now ther's only nine. The calf got the shirt 
I reckon, but the calf never took the spoon, that's certain.'* 
" Why, what else is gone, Sally ? " 



" Ther's six candles gone that's what. The rats could a got the candles, 
and I reckon they did ; I wonder they don't walk off with the whole place, the 

way you're always going to stop their holes 
and don't do it ; and if they warn't fools 
they'd sleep in your hair, Silas you'd never 
find it out ; but you can't lay the spoon on 
the rats, and that I know." 

" Well, Sally, I'm in fault, and I acknowl- 
edge it ; I've been remiss ; but I won't let 
to-morrow go by without stopping up them 

" Oh, I wouldn't hurry, next year'll do. 
Matilda Angelina Araminta Phelps ! " 

Whack comes the thimble, and the child 
snatches her claws out of the sugar-bowl 
without fooling around any. Just then, the 
nigger woman steps onto the passage, and 

"Missus, dey's a sheet gone." 
" A sheet gone ! Well, for the land's 

"I'll stop up them holes to-day" says 
Uncles Silas, looking sorrowful. 

" Oh, do shet up ! spose the rats took the sheet ? Where's it gone, Lize ? " 
" Clah to goodness I hain't no notion, Miss Sally. She wuz on do clo's-line 
yistiddy. but she done gone ; she ain' dah no mo,' now." 

"I reckon the world is coming to an end. I never see the beat of it, in all 

my born days. A shirt, and a sheet, and a spoon, and six can " 

" Missus," comes a young yaller wench, "dey's a brass cannelstick miss'n." 
" Cler out from here, you hussy, er I'll take a skillet to ye ! " 
Well, she was just a biling. I begun to lay for a chance ; I reckoned I would 
sneak out and go for the woods till the weather moderated. She kept a raging 



right along, running her insurrection all by herself, and everybody else mighty 
meek and quiet ; and at last Uncle Silas, looking kind of foolish, fishes up that 
spoon out of his pocket. She stopped, with her mouth open and her hands up ; 
and as for me, I wished I was in Jeruslem or somewheres. But not long ; be- 

" It's just as I expected. So you had it in your pocket all the time ; and like 
as not you've got the other things there, too. How'd it get there ?" 

"Ireely don't know, Sally," he says, kind of apologizing, " or you know ] 
would tell. I was a-studying over my text in Acts Seventeen, before breakfast, 
and I reckon I put it in there, not noticing, meaning to put my Testament in, 
and it must be so, because my Testament ain't in, but I'll go and see, and if the 
Testament is where I had it, I'll know I didn't put it in, and that will show that 
I laid the Testament down and took up the spoon, and " 

" Oh, for the land's sake ! Give a body a rest ! Go 'long now, the whole 
kit and biling of ye ; and don't come nigh me again till I've got back my peace of 

I'd a heard her, if she'd a said it to herself, let alone speaking it out ; and I'd 
a got up and obeyed her, if I'd a been dead. As we was passing through the 
setting-room, the old man he took up his hat, and the shingle-nail fell out on the 
floor, and he just merely picked it up and laid it on the mantel-shelf, and never 
said nothing, and went out. Tom see him do it, and remembered about the 
spoon, and says : 

"Well, it ain't no use to send things by him no more, he ain't reliable." 
Then he says : " But he done us a good turn with the spoon, anyway, without 
knowing it, and so we'll go and do him one without him knowing it stop up his 

There was a noble good lot of them, down cellar, and it took us a whole hour, 
but we done the job tight and good, and ship-shape. Then we heard steps on 
the stairs, and blowed out our light, and hid ; and here comes the old man, with 
a candle in one hand and a bundle of stuff in t'other, looking as absent-minded 
as year before last. He went a mooning around, first to one rat-hole and then 
another, till he'd been to them all. Then he stood about five minutes, picking 


tallow-drip off of his candle and thinking. Then he turns off slow and dreamy 
towards the stairs, saying : 

" Well, for the life of me I can't remember when I done it. I could show 
her now that I warn't to blame on account of the rats. But never mind let it 
go. I reckon it wouldn't do no good." 

And. so he went on a mumbling up stairs, and then we left. He was a mighty 
nice old man. And always is. 

Tom was a good deal bothered about what to do for a spoon, but he said we'd 
got to have it ; so he took a think. When he had ciphered it out, he told me how 
we was to do ; then we went and waited around the spoon-basket till we sco 
Aunt Sally coming, and then Tom went to counting the spoons and laying them 
out to one side, and I slid one of them up my sleeve, and Tom says : 

" Why, Aunt Sally, there ain't but nine spoons, yet." 

She says : 

"Go 'long to your play, and don't bother me. I know better, I counted 'm 

" Well, I've counted them twice, Aunty, and /can't make but nine." 

She looked out of all patience, but of course she come to count anybody 

" I declare to gracious ther' ain't but nine ! " she says. " Why, what in the 
world plague take the things, I'll count 'm again." 

So I slipped back the one I had, and when she got done counting, she says : 

"Hang the troublesome rubbage, ther's ten, now !" and she looked huffy and 
bothered both. But Tom says : 

" Why, Aunty, /don't think there's ten." 

" You numskull, didn't you see me count 'm ? " 

" I know, but " 

' Well, I'll count 'm again." 

So I smouched one, and they come out nine same as the other time. Well, 
she was in a tearing way just a trembling all over, she was so mad. But she 
counted and counted, till she got that addled she'd start to count-in the basket 
for a spoon, sometimes ; and so, three times they come out right, and three times 



they come out wrong. Then she grabbed up the basket and slammed it across the 
house and knocked the cat galley-west ; and she said cle'r out and let her have 
some peace, and if we come bothering 
around her again betwixt that and 
dinner, she'd skin us. So we had the 
odd spoon; and dropped it in her 
apron pocket whilst she was a giving us 
our sailing-orders, and Jim got it all 
right, along with her shingle-nail, be- 
fore noon. We was very well satis- 
fied with this business, and Tom al- 
lowed it was worth twice the trouble 
it took, because he said now she 
couldn't ever count them spoons twice 
alike again to save her life ; and 
wouldn't believe she'd counted them 
right, if she did ; and said that after 
she'd about counted her head off, for 
the next three days, he judged she'd 
give it up and offer to kill anybody 
that wanted her to ever count them any more. 

So we put the sheet back on the line, that night, and stole one out of her 
closet ; and kept on putting it back and stealing it again, for a couple of days, 
till she didn't know how many sheets she had, any more, and said she didn't 
care, and warn't agoing to bullyrag the rest of her soul out about it, and wouldn't 
count them again not to save her life, she druther die first. 

So we was all right now, as to the shirt and the sheet and the spoon and the 
candles, by the help of the calf and the rats and the mixed-up counting ; and as 
to the candlestick, it warn't no consequence, it would blow over by-and-by. 

But that pie was a job ; we had no end of trouble with that pie. We fixed it 
up away down in the woods, and cooked it there ; and we got it done at last, and 
very satisfactory, too ; but not all in one day ; and we had to use up three wash- 




pans full of flour, before we got through, and we got burnt pretty much all 
over, in places, and eyes put out with the smoke ; because, you see, we didn't 
want nothing but a crust, and we couldn't prop it up right, and she would 
always cave in. But of course we thought of the right way at last ; which was 
to cook the ladder, too, in the pie. So then we laid in with Jim, the second night, 
and tore up the sheet all in little strings, and twisted them together, and long 
before daylight we had a lovely rope, that you could a hung a person with. 
We let on it took nine months to make it. 

And in the forenoon we took it down to 
the woods, but it wouldn't go in the pie. 
Being made of a whole sheet, that way, there 
was rope enough for forty pies, if we'd a 
wanted them, and plenty left over for soup, 
or sausage, or anything you choose. We 
could a had a whole dinner. 

But we didn't need it. All we needed was 
just enough for the pie, and so we throwed 
the rest away. We didn't cook none of the 
pies in the washpan, afraid the solder would 
melt ; but Uncle Silas he had a noble brass 
warming-pan which he thought considerable 
of, because it belonged to one of his ancesters 
with a long wooden handle that come over 
from England with William the Conqueror 
in the Mayflower or one of them early ships 
and was hid away up garret with a lot of 
other old pots and things that was valuable, not on account of being any account 
because they warn't, but on account of them being relicts, you know, and we 
snaked her out, private, and took her down there, but she failed on the first pies, 
because we didn't know how, but she come up smiling on the last one. We took 
and lined her with dough, and set her in the coals, and loaded her up with rag- 
rope, and put on a dough roof, and shut down the lid, and put hot embers ou 



top, and stood off five foot, with the long handle, cool and comfortable, and in 
fifteen minutes she turned out a pie that was a satisfaction to look at. But the 
person that et it would want to fetch a couple of kags of toothpicks along, for 
if that rope-ladder wouldn't cramp him down to business, I don't know nothing 
what I'm talking about, and lay him in enough stomach-ache to last him till next 
time, too. 

Nat didn't look, when we put the witch-pie in Jim's pan ; and we put the three 
tin plates in the bottom of the pan under the vittles ; and so Jim got everything 
all right, and as soon as he was by himself he busted into the pie and hid the rope- 
ladder inside of his straw tick, and scratched some marks on a tin plate and 
throwed it out of the window-hole. 

them pens was a distressid- 
tough job, and so was the saw ; and 
Jim allowed the inscription was 
going to be the toughest of all. 
That's the one which the prisoner 
has to scrabble on the wall. But we 
had to have it ; Tom said we'd got 
to ; there warn't no case of a state 
prisoner not scrabbling his inscrip- 
tion to leave behind, and his coat of 

" Look at Lady Jane Grey," he 
says; "look at Gilford Dudley; 
look at old Northumberland ! Why, 
Huck, spose it is considerble trouble? 
what you going to do ? how you 
going to get around it ? Jim's got 
to do his inscription and coat of 
arms. They all do." 
Jim says : 

"Why, Mars Tom, I hain't got no coat o' arms ; I hain't got nuffn but dish- 
yer ole shirt, en you knows I got to keep de journal on dat." 

"Oh, you don't understand, Jim : a coat of arms is very different." 
"Well," I says, " Jim's right, anyway, when he says he hain't got no coat of 
arms, because he hain't." 


"I reckon /knowed that," Tom says, "but you bet he'll have one before he 
goes out of this because he's going out right, and there ain't going to be no 
flaws in his record." 

So whilst me and Jim filed away at the pens on a brickbat apiece, Jim a 
making his'n out of the brass and I making mine out of the spoon, Tom set to 
work to think out the coat of arms. By-and-by he said he'd struck so many good 
ones he didn't hardly know which to take, but there was one which he reckoned 
he'd decide on. He says : 

" On the scutcheon we'll have a bend or in the dexter base, a sal tire murrey 
in the fess, with a dog, couchant, for common charge, and under his foot a chain 
embattled, for slavery, with a chevron vert in a chief engrailed, and three 
invected lines on a field azure, with the nombril points rampant on a dance tte 
indented ; crest, a runaway nigger, sable, with his bundle over his shoulder on a 
bar sinister : and a couple of gules for supporters, which is you and me ; 
motto, Maggiore fretta, minore atto. Got it out of a book means, the more 
haste, the less speed." 

" Geewhillikins," I says, "but what does the rest of it mean ? " 

" We ain't got no time to bother over that," he says, "we got to dig in like 
all git-out." 

" Well, anyway," I says, "what's some of it ? What's a fess ? " 

"A fess a fess is you don't need to know what a fess is. I'll show him 

how to make it when he gets to it." 

"Shucks, Tom," I says, "I think you might tell a person. What's a bar 
sinister ? " 

" Oh, / don't know. But he's got to have it. All the nobility does." 

That was just his way. If it didn't suit him to explain a thing to you, he 
wouldn't do it. You might pump at him a week, it wouldn't make no 

He'd got all that coat of arms business fixed, so now he started in to finish 
up the rest of that part of the work, which was to plan out a mournful inscrip- 
tionsaid Jim got to have one, like they all done. He made up a lot, and wrote 
them out on a paper, and read them off, so : 


1. Here a captive heart busted. 

2. Here a poor prisoner, forsook by the world and friends, fretted out his 
sorrowful life. 

3. Here a lonely heart broke, and a worn spirit went to its rest, after thirty- 
seven years of solitary captivity. 

4. Here, homeless and friendless, after thirty-seven years of bitter captivity, 
perished a noble stranger, natural son of Louis XIV. 

Tom's voice trembled, whilst he was reading them, and he most broke down. 
When he got done, he couldn't no way make up his mind which one for Jim to 
scrabble onto the wall, they was all so good ; but at last he allowed he would let 
him scrabble them all on. Jim said it would take him a year to scrabble such a 
lot of truck onto the logs with a nail, and he didn't know how to make letters, 
besides ; but Tom said he would block them out for him, and then he wouldn't 
have nothing to do but just follow the lines. Then pretty soon he says : 

" Come to think, the logs ain't agoing to do ; they don't have log walls in a 
dungeon : we got to dig the inscriptions into a rock. We'll fetch a rock." 

Jim said the rock was worse than the logs ; he said it would take him such a 
pison long time to dig them into a rock, he wouldn't ever get out. But Tom said 
he would let me help him do it. Then he took a look to see how me and Jim 
was getting along with the pens. It was most pesky tedious hard work and slow, 
and didn't give my hands no show to get well of the sores, and we didn't seem to 
make no headway, hardly. So Tom says : 

" I know how to fix it. We got to have a rock for the coat of arms and 
mournful inscriptions, and we can kill two birds with that same rock. There's a 
gaudy big grindstone down at the mill, and we'll smouch it, and carve the things 
on it, and file out the pens and the saw on it, too." 

It warn't no slouch of an idea ; and it warn't no slouch of a grindstone 
nuther ; but we allowed we'd tackle it. It warn't quite midnight, yet, so we 
cleared out for the mill, leaving Jim at work. We smouched the grindstone, 
and set out to roll her home, but it was a most nation tough job. Sometimes, do 
what we could, we couldn't keep her from falling over, and she come mighty 



near mashing us, every time. Tom said she was going to get one of us, sure, 
before we got through. We got her half way ; and then we was plumb played 
out, and most drownded with sweat. We see it warn't no use, we got to go and 
fetch Jim. So he raised up his bed and slid the chain off of the bed -leg, and 
wrapt it round and round his neck, and we crawled out through our hole and 
down there, and Jim and me laid into that grindstone and* walked her along like 


nothing ; and Tom superintended. He could out-superintend any boy I ever see. 
He knowed how to do everything. 

Our hole was pretty big, but it warn't big enough to get the grindstone 
through ; but Jim he took the pick and soon made it big enough. Then Tom 
marked out them things on it with the nail, and. set Jim to work on them, with 
the nail for a chisel and an iron bolt from the rubbage in the lean-to for a 


hammer, and told him to work till the rest of his candle quit on him, and then 
he could go to bed, and hide the grindstone under his straw tick and sleep on it. 
Then we helped him fix his chain back on the bed-leg, and was ready for bed our- 
selves. But Tom thought of something, and says : 

''You got any spiders in here, Jim ?" 

" No, sah, thanks to goodness I hain't, Mars Tom." 

" All right, we'll get you some." 

" But bless you, honey, I doan' want none. I's afeard un um. I jis' 's soon 
have rattlesnakes aroun'." 

Tom thought a minute or two, and says : 

" It's a good idea. And I reckon it's been done. It must a been done; it 
stands to reason. Yes, it's a prime good idea. Where could you keep it ? " 

" Keep what, Mars Tom ? " 

" Why, a rattlesnake." 

" De goodness gracious alive, Mars Tom ! Why, if dey was a rattlesnake to 
come in heah, I'd take en bust right out thoo dat log wall, I would, wid my 

" Why, Jim, you wouldn't be afraid of it, after a little. You could tame it." 

"At* it!* 

" Yes easy enough. Every animal is grateful for kindness and petting, and 
they wouldn't think of hurting a person that pets them. Any book will tell 
you that. You try that's all I ask ; just try for two or three days.' Why, you 
can get him so, in a little while, that he'll love you ; and sleep with you ; and 
won't stay away from you a minute ; and will let you wrap him round your neck 
and put his head in your mouth." 

" Please, Mars Tom doan' talk so ! I can't stan' it ! He'd let me shove his 
head in my mouf fer a favor, hain't it ? I lay he'd wait a pow'ful long time 'fo' 
I ast him. En mo' en dat, I doan' want him to sleep wid me." 

"Jim, don't act so foolish. A prisoner's got to have some kind of a dumb 
pet, and if a rattlesnake hain't ever been tried, why, there's more glory to be 
gained in your being the first to ever try it than any other way you could ever 
think of to save your life." 


"Why, Mars Tom, I doan' want no sich glory. Snake take 'n bite Jim's 
chin off, den ivhah is de glory ? No, sah, I doan' want no sich doin's." 

" Blame it, can't you try f I only want you to try you needn't keep it up if 
it don't work." 

" But de trouble all done, ef de snake bite me while I's a tryin' him. 
Mars Tom, I's willin' to tackle mos' anything 'at ain't onreasonable, but ef you 


en Huck fetches a rattlesnake in heah for me to tame, I's gwyne to leave, dat's 

" Well, then, let it go, let it go, if you're so bullheaded about it. We can get 
you some garter-snakes and you can tie some buttons on their tails, and let on 
they're rattlesnakes, and I reckon that'll have to do." 

" I k'n stan' dem, Mars Tom, but blame' 'f I couldn' get along widout urn, 
I tell you dat. I never knowed b'fo', 't was so much bother and trouble to be a 

"Well, it always is, when it's done right. You got any rats around 

here ? " 

"No, sah, I hain't seed none." 
" Well, we'll get you some rats." 


" Why, Mars Tom, I doan' want no rats. Dey's de dad-blamedest creturs to 
sturb a body, en rustle roun' over 'im, en bite his feet, when he's tryin' to sleep, I 
ever see. No, sah, gimme g'yarter-snakes, 'f I's got to have 'm, but doan' gimme 
no rats, I ain' got no use f r um, skasely." 

" But Jim, you got to have 'em they all do. So don't make no more fuss 
about it. Prisoners ain't ever without rats. There ain't no instance of it. 
And they train them, and pet them, and learn them tricks, and they get to 
be as sociable as flies. But you got to play music to them. You got anything 
to play music on ? " 

" I ain' got nuffn but a coase comb en a piece o' paper, en a juice-harp ; but 
I reck'n dey wouldn' take no stock in a juice-harp." 

" Yes they would. They don't care what kind of music 'tis. A Jew-sharp's 
plenty good enough for a rat. All animals likes music in a prison they dote on 
it. Specially, painful music ; and you can't get no other kind out of a jews- 
harp. It always interests them ; they come out to see what's the matter with you. 
Yes, you're all right ; you're fixed very well. You want to set on your bed, 
nights, before you go to sleep, and early in the mornings, and play your jews- 
harp ; play The Last Link is Broken that's the thing that'll scoop a rat, 
quicker'n anything else : and when you've played about two minutes, you'll see 
all the rats, and the snakes, and spiders, and things begin to feel worried 
about you, and come. And they'll just fairly swarm over you, and have a noble 
good time." 

" Yes, dey will, I reck'n, Mars Tom, but what kine er time is Jim havin' ? 
Blest if I kin see de pint. But I'll do it ef I got to. I reck'n I better keep de 
animals satisfied, en not have no trouble in de house." 

Tom waited to think over, and see if there wasn't nothing else ; and pretty 
soon he says : 

" Oh there's one thing I forgot. Could you raise a flower here, do you 
reckon ? " 

" I doan' know but maybe I could, Mars Tom ; but it's tolable dark in 
heah, en I ain' got no use fr no flower, nohow, en she'd be a pow'ful sight o' 



" Well, you try it, anyway. Some other prisoners has done it." 

" One er dem big cat-tail-lookin' mullen-stalks would grow in heah, Mars Tom, 
I reck'n, but she wouldn' be wuth half de trouble she'd coss." 

" Don't you believe it. We'll fetch you a little one, and you plant it in the 
corner, over there, and raise it. And don't call it mullen, call it Pitchiola 
that's its right name, when it's in a prison. And you want to water it with your 

" Why, I got plenty spring water, Mars Tom." 

" You don't want spring water ; you want to water it with your tears. It's 
the way they always do." 

" Why, Mars Tom, I lay I kin raise one er dem mullen-stalks twyste wid 
spring water whiles another man's a start'n one wid tears." 

" That ain't the idea. You got to do it with tears." 

" She'll die on my han's, Mars Tom, she sholy will ; kase I doaii' skasely ever 

So Tom was stumped. But he studied it over, and then said Jim would have 
to worry along the best he could 
with an onion. He promised 
he would go to the nigger cabins 
and drop one, private, in Jim's 
coffee-pot, in the morning. Jim 
said he would " jis' 's soon have 
tobacker in his coffee ; " and found 
so much fault with it, and with 
the work and bother of raising 
the mullen, and jews-harping the , : 
rats, and petting and flattering -> 
up the snakes and spiders and 
things, on top of all the other 


work he had to do on pens, and 

inscriptions, and journals, and things, which made it more trouble and worry and 

responsibility to be a prisoner than anything he ever undertook, that Tom most 


lost all patience with him ; and said he was just leadened down with more 
gaudier chances than a prisoner ever had in the world to make a name for him- 
self, and yet he didn't know enough to appreciate them, and they was just about 
wasted on him. So Jim he was sorry, and said he wouldn't behave so no more, 
and then me and Tom shoved for bed. 

IT[ the morning we went up to the village 
and bought a wire rat trap and fetch- 
ed it down, and unstopped the best rat 
hole, and in about an hour we had fifteen 
of the bulliest kind of ones ; and then we 
took it and put it in a safe place under 
Aunt Sally's bed. But while we was gone 
for spiders, little Thomas Franklin Ben- 
jamin Jefferson Elexander Phelps found 
it there, and opened the door of it to see 
if the rats would come out, and they did ; 
and Aunt Sally she come in, and when we 
got back she was a standing on top of the 
bed raising Cain, and the rats was doing 
what they could to keep off the dull times 
for her. So she took and dusted us both 
with the hickry, and we was as much as 
two hours catching another fifteen or six- 
teen, drat that meddlesome cub, and they 
warn't the likeliest, nuther, because the first haul was the pick of the flock. I 
never see a likelier lot of rats than what that first haul was. 

We got a splendid stock of sorted spiders, and bugs, and frogs, and cater- 
pillars, and one thing or another ; and we like-to got a hornet's nest, but we 
didn't. The family was at home. We didn't give it right up, but staid with 
them as long as we could ; because we allowed we'd tire them out or they'd 



got to tire us out, and they done it. Then we got allycumpain and rubbed on 
the places, and was pretty near all right again, but couldn't set down convenient. 
And so we went for the snakes, and grabbed a couple of dozen garters and house- 
snakes, and put them in a bag, and put it in our room, and by that time it was 
supper time, and a rattling good honest day's work ; and hungry ? oh, no, I 
reckon not ! And there warn't a blessed snake up there, when we went back we 
didn't half tie the sack, and they worked out, somehow, and left. But it didn't 
matter much, because they was still on the premises somewheres. So we judged 
we could get some of them again. No, there warn't no real scarcity of snakes 
about the house for a considerble spell. You'd see them dripping from the 
rafters and places, every now and then ; and they generly landed in your plate, 
or down the back of your neck, and most of the time where you didn't want them. 
"Well, they was handsome, and striped, and there warn't no harm in a million of 
them ; but that never made no difference to Aunt Sally, she despised snakes, be the 
breed what they might, and she couldn't stand them no way you could fix it ; and 
every time one of them flopped down on her, it didn't make no difference what 
she was doing, she would just lay that work down and light out. I never see 
such a woman. And you could hear her whoop to Jericho. You couldn't get 
her to take aholt of one of them with the tongs. And if she turned over 
and found one in bed, she would scramble out and lift a howl that you would 
think the house was afire. She disturbed the old man so, that he said he 
could most wish there hadn't ever been no snakes created. Why, after every last 
snake had been gone clear out of the house for as much as a week, Aunt Sally 
warn't over it yet ; she warn't near over it ; when she was setting thinking about 
something, you could touch her on the back of her neck with a feather and she 
would jump right out of her stockings. It was very curious. But Tom said all 
women was just so. He said they was made that way; for some reason or 

We got a licking every time one of our snakes come in her way ; and she al- 
lowed these lickings warn't nothing to what she would do if we ever loaded up the 
place again with them. I didn't mind the lickings, because they didn't amount 
to nothing; but I minded the trouble we had, to lay in another lot. But we got 



them laid in, and all the other things ; and you never see a cabin as blithesome as 
Jim's was when they'd all swarm out for music and go for him. Jim didn't like 
the spiders, and the spiders didn't like Jim ; and so they'd lay for him and make 
it mighty warm for him. And he said that between the rats, and the snakes, and 
the grindstone, there warn't no room in bed for him, skasely ; and when there 
was, a body couldn't sleep, it was so lively, and it was always lively, he said, be- 
cause they never all slept at one time, but took turn about, so when the snakes 
was asleep the rats was on deck, and when the rats turned in the snakes come on 
watch, so he always had one gang under him, in his way, and t'other gang hav- 
ing a circus over him, and if he got up to hunt a new place, the spiders would 
take a chance at him as he crossed over. He said if he ever got out, this time, he 
wouldn't ever be a prisoner again, not for a salary. 

Well, by the end of three weeks, everything was in pretty good shape. The 
shirt was sent in early, in a pie, and every 
time a rat bit Jim he would get up and 
write a little in his journal whilst the ink 
was fresh ; the pens was made, the in- 
scriptions and so on was all carved on 
the grindstone ; the bed-leg was sawed in 
two, and we had etup the sawdust, and it 
give us a most amazing stomach-ache. 
We reckoned we was all going to die, but 
didn't. It was the most undigestible 
sawdust I ever see ; and Tom said the 
same. But as I was saying, we'd got all 
the work done, now, at last; and we was 
all pretty much fagged out, too, but 
mainly Jim. The old man had wrote a 
couple of times to the plantation below 
Orleans to come and get their runaway nigger, but hadn't got no answer, because 
there warn't no such plantation ; so he allowed he would advertise Jim in the St. 
Louis and New Orleans papers ; and when he mentioned the St. Louis ones, it 



give me the cold shivers, and I see we hadn't no time to lose. So Tom said, 
now for the nonnamous letters. 

"What's them ? " I says. 

" Warnings to the people that something is up. Sometimes it's done one 
way, sometimes another. But there's always somebody spying around, that gives 
notice to the governor of the castle. When Louis XVI. was going to light out of 
the Tooleries, a servant girl done it. It's a very good way, and so is the non- 
namous letters. We'll use them both. And it's usual for the prisoner's mother 
to change clothes with him, and she stays in, and he slides out in her clothes. 
We'U do that too." 

"But looky here, Tom, what do we want to warn anybody for, that some- 
thing's up ? Let them find it out for themselves it's their lookout." 

" Yes, I know.; but you can't depend on them. It's the way they've acted 
from the very start left us to do everything. They're so confiding and mullet- 
headed they don't take notice of nothing at all. So if we don't give them notice, 
there won't be nobody nor nothing to interfere with us, and so after all our 
hard work and trouble this escape '11 go off perfectly flat: won't amount to noth- 
ing won't be nothing to it." 

" Well, as for me, Tom, that's the way I'd like." 

" Shucks," he says, and looked disgusted. So I says : 

" But I ain't going to make no complaint. Anyway that suits you suits me. 
What you going to do about the servant-girl ? " 

" You'll be her. You slide in, in the middle of the night, and hook that 
yaller girl's frock." 

" Why, Tom, that'll make trouble next morning ; because of course she prob'- 
bly hain't got any but that one." 

"I know ; but you don't want it but fifteen minutes, to carry the nonnamous 
letter and shove it under the front door." 

"All right, then, I'll do it ; but I could carry it just as handy in my own 

"You wouldn't look like a servant-girl then, would you ?" 

"No, but there won't be nobody to see what I look like, anyway." 



That ain't got nothing to do with it. The thing for us to do, is just to do 
our duty, and not worry about whether anybody sees us do it or not. Hain't you 
got no principle at all ? " 

All right, I ain't saying nothing; I'm the servant-girl. Who's Jim's 

T*-n V " 


mother? 1 

"I'm his mother. I'll 
hook a gown from Aunt 

" Well, then, you'll have 
Lo stay in the cabin when me 
and Jim leaves." 

"Not much. I'll stuff 
Jim's clothes full of straw 
and lay it on his bed to re- 
present his mother in dis- 
guise, and Jim '11 take the 
nigger woman's gown off of 
me and wear it, and we'll all 
evade together. When a pri- 
soner of style escapes, it's 
called an evasion. It's al- 
ways called so when a king 
escapes, f'rinstance. And the 
same with a king's son ; it 
don't make no difference 
whether he's a natural one or an unnatural one." 

So Tom he wrote the nonnamous letter, and I smouched the yaller wench's 
frock, that night, and put it on, and shoved it under the front door, the way Tom 
told me to. It said : 

Beware. Trouble is brewing. Keep a sharp lookout. UNKNOWN FBIEND. 
Next night we stuck a picture which Tom drawed in blood, of a skull and 

crossbones, on the front door : and next night another one of a coffin, on the 




back door. I never see a family in such a sweat. They couldn't a been worse 
scared if the place had a been full of ghosts laying for them behind everything 
and under the beds and shivering through the air. If a door banged, Aunt Sally 
she jumped, and said " ouch ! " if anything fell, sbe jumped and said "ouch !" 
if you happened to touch her, when she warn't noticing, she done the same ; she 
couldn't face noway and be satisfied, because she allowed there was something 
behind her every time so she was always a whirling around, sudden, and saying 
"ouch," and before sha'd get two-thirds around, she'd whirl back again, and 
say it again ; and she was afraid to go to bed, but she dasn't set up. So the 
thing was working very well, Tom said ; he said he never see a thing work more 
satisfactory. He said it showed it was done right. 

So he said, now for the grand bulge ! So the very next morning at the 
streak of dawn we got another letter ready, and was wondering what we better 
do with it, because we heard them say at supper they was going to have a nigger 
on watch at both doors all night. Tom he went down the lightning-rod to &py 
around ; and the nigg -r at the back door was asleep, and he stuck it in the back 
of his neck and come back. This letter said : 

Don't betray me, I wish to be your friend. There is a desprate gang of cutthroats from over 
in the Ingean Territory going to steal your runaway nigger to-night, and they have been trying to 
scare you so as you will stay in the house and not bother them. I am one of the gang, but have 
got religgion and wish to quit it and lead a honest life again, and will betray the helish design. 
They will sneak down from northards, along the fence, at midnight exact, with a false key, and go 
in the nigger's cabin to get him. 1 am to be off a piece and blow a tin horn if I see any danger ; 
but stead of that, I will BA like a sheep soon as they get in and not blow at all ; then whilst they are 
getting his chains loose, you slip there and lock them in, and can kill them at your leasure. Don't 
do anything but just the way I am telling you, if you do they will suspicion something and raise 
whoopjamb&reehoo. I do not wish any reward but to know I have done the right thing. 




was feeling pretty good, after break- 
fast, and took my canoe and went 
over the river a fishing, with a lunch, 
: and had a good time, and took a look 
at the raft and found her all right, 
and got home late to supper, and 
found them in such a sweat and 
worry they didn't know which end 
they was standing on, and made us 
go right off to bed the minute we 
was done supper, and wouldn't tell 
us what the trouble was, and never 
let on a word about the new letter, 
but didn't need to, because we 
knowed as much about it as any- 
body did, and as soon as we was 
half up stairs and her back was turned, we slid for the cellar cubboard and loaded 
up a good lunch and took it up to our room and went to bed, and got up 
about half-past eleven, and Tom put on Aunt Sally's dress that he stole and 
was going to start with the lunch, but says : 
" Where's the butter ? " 

" I laid out a hunk of it," I says, " on a piece of a corn-pone." 
" Well, you left it laid out, then it ain't here." 
" We can get along without it," I says. 
" We can get along with it, too," he says ; " just you slide down cellar and 


fetch it. And then mosey right down the lightning-rod and come along. I'll 
go and stuff the straw into Jim's clothes to represent his mother in disguise, and 
be ready to ba like a sheep and shove soon as you get there. " 

So out he went, and down cellar went I. The hunk of butter, big as a 
person's fist, was where I had left it, so I took up the slab of corn-pone with it 
on, and blowed out my light, and started up stairs, very stealthy, and got up to 
the main floor all right, but here comes Aunt Sally with a candle, and I clapped 
the truck in my hat, and clapped my hat on my head, and the next second she 
see me ; and she says : 

"You been down cellar ?" 


"What you been doing down there ?" 

" Noth'n." 


" No'm." 

" Well, then, what possessed you to go down there, this time of night ? " 

" I don't know'm." 

" You don't know ? Don't answer me that way, Tom, I want to know what 
you been doing down there ? " 

"I hain't been doing a single thing, Aunt Sally, I hope to gracious if I 

I reckoned she'd let me go, now, and as a generl thing she would ; but I 
spose there was so many strange things going on she was just in a sweat about 
every little thing that warn't yard-stick straight ; so she says, very decided : 

"You just march into that setting-room and stay there till 1 come. You 
been up to something you no business to, and I lay I'll find out what it is before 
I'm done with you." 

So she went away as I opened the door and walked into the setting-room. My, 
but there was a crowd there ! Fifteen farmers, and every one of them had a gun. 
I was most powerful sick, and slunk to a chair and set down. They was setting 
around, some of them talking a little, in a low voice, and all of them fidgety and 
uneasy, but trying to look like they warn't ; but I knowed they was, because they 



was always taking off their hats, and putting them on, and scratching their heads, 
and changing their seats, and fumbling with their buttons. I warn't easy myself 
but I didn't take my hat off, all the same. 

I did wish Aunt Sally would come, and get done with me, and lick me, if 
she wanted to, and let me get away and tell Tom how we'd overdone this thing, 
and what a thundering hornet's nest we'd got ourselves into, so we could stop 


fooling around, straight off, and clear out with Jim before these rips got out of 
patience and come for us. 

At last she come, and begun to ask me questions, but I couldn't answer them 
straight, I didn't know which end of me was up ; because these men was in such 
a fidget now, that some was wanting to start right now and lay for them desper- 
adoes, and saying it warn't but a few minutes to midnight ; and others was trying 
to get them to hold on and wait for the sheep-signal ; and here was aunty 
pegging away at the questions, and me a shaking all over and ready to sink down 
in my tracks I was that scared ; and the place getting hotter and hotter, and the 
butter beginning to melt and run down my neck and behind my ears : and pretty 


soon, when one of them says, " I'm for going and getting in the cabin first, and 
right now, and catching them when they come," I most dropped ; and a streak of 
butter come a trickling down my forehead, and Aunt Sally she see it, and turns 
white as a sheet, and says : 

" For the land's sake what is the matter with the child ! he's got the 
brain fever as shore as you're born, and they're oozing out !" 

And everybody runs to see, and she snatches off my hat, and out comes the 
bread, and what was left of the butter, and she grabbed me, and hugged me, and 

" Oh, what a turn you did give me ! and how glad and grateful I am it ain't 
no worse ; for luck's against us, and it never rains but it pours, and when I see 
that truck I thought we'd lost you, for I knowed by the color and all, it was just 
like your brains would be if Dear, dear, whyd'nt you tell me that was what 
you'd been down there for, 7 wouldn't a cared. Now cler out to bed, and don't 
lemme see no more of you till morning ! " 

I was up stairs in a second, and down the lightning-rod in another one, and 
shinning through the dark for the lean-to. I couldn't hardly get my words out, 
I was so anxious; but I told Tom as quick as I could, we must jump for it, now, 
and not a minute to lose the house full of men, yonder, with guns ! 

His eyes just blazed ; and he says : 

"No ! is that so ? Ain't it bully ! Why, Huck, if it was to do over again, 
I bet I could fetch two hundred ! If we could put it off till " 

" Hurry ! hurry ! " I says. " Where's Jim ? " 

" Eight at your elbow ; if you reach out your arm you can touch him. He's 
dressed, and everything's ready. Now we'll slide out and give the sheep- 

But then we heard the tramp of men, coming to the door, and heard them 
begin to fumble with the padlock ; and heard a man say : 

" I told you we'd be too soon ; they haven't come the door is locked. Here, 
I'll lock some of you into the cabin and you lay for 'em in the dark and kill 'em 
when they come ; and the rest scatter around a piece, and listen if you can hear 



So in they come, but couldn't see us in the dark, and most trod on us whilst 
we was hustling to get under the bed. But we got under all right, and out 
through the hole, swift but soft Jim first, me next, and Tom last, which was 
according to Tom's orders. Now we was in the lean-to, and heard trampings 
close by outside. So we crept to the door, and Tom stopped us there and put his 
eye to the crack, but couldn't make out 
nothing, it w t os so dark ; and whispered 
and said he would listen for the steps to 
get further, and when he nudged us Jim 
must glide out first, and him last. So 
he set his ear to the crack and listened, 
and listened, and listened, and the steps 
a scraping around, out there, all the time; 
and at last he nudged us, and we slid out, 
and stooped down, not breathing, and 
not making the least noise, and slipped 
stealthy towards the fence, in Injun file, 
and got to it, all right, and me and Jim 
over it ; but Tom's britches catched 
fast on a splinter on the top rail, and 
then he hear the steps coming, so he 
had to pull loose, which snapped the 
splinter and made a noise ; and as he 
dropped in our tracks and started, 
somebody sings out : 

" Who's that ? Answer, or I'll shoot ! " 

But we didn't answer ; we just unfurled our heels and shoved. Then there 
was a rush, and a bang, bang, bang ! and the bullets fairly whizzed around us ! 
We heard them sing out : 

"Here they are ! They've broke for the river ! after 'em, boys ! And turn 
loose the dogs ! " 

So here they come, full tilt. We could hear them, because they wore boots. 



and yelled, but we didn't wear no boots, and didn't yell. We was in the path to 
the mill ; and when they got pretty close onto us, we dodged into the bush and let 
them go by, and then dropped in behind them. They'd had all the dogs shut up, 
so they wouldn't scare off the robbers ; but by this time somebody had let them 
loose, and here they come, making pow-wow enough for a million ; but they was 
our dogs ; so we stopped in our tracks till they catched up ; and when they see iv 
warn' t nobody but us, and no excitement to offer them, they only just said howdy, 
and tore right ahead towards the shouting and clattering ; and then we up steam 
again and whizzed along after them till we was nearly to the mill, and then struck 
up through the bush to where my canoe was tied, and hopped in and pulled for 
dear life towards the middle of the river, but didn't make no more noise than 
we was obleeged to. Then we struck out, easy and comfortable, for the island 
where my raft was ; and we could hear them yelling and barking at each other all 
up and down the bank, till we was so far away the sounds got dim and died out. 
And when we stepped onto the raft, I says : 

"Noio, old Jim, you're a free man again, and I bet you won't ever be a slave 
no more." 

"En a mighty good job it wuz, too, Huck. It 'uz planned beautiful, en it 'uz 
done beautiful ; en dey ain't nobody kin git up a plan dat's mo' mixed-up en 
splendid den what dat one wuz." 

We was all as glad as we could be, but Tom was the gladdest of all, because 
he had a bullet in the calf of his leg. 

When me and Jim heard that, we didn't feel so brash as what we did before. 
It was hurting him considerble, and bleeding ; so we laid him in the wigwam 
and tore up one of the duke's shirts for to bandage him, but he says : 

"Gimme the rags, I can do it myself. Don't stop, now ; don't fool around 
here, and the evasion booming along so handsome ; man the sweeps, and set her 
loose ! Boys, we done it elegant ! 'deed we did. I wish we'd a had the handling 
of Louis XVI., there wouldn't a been no ' Son of Saint Louis, ascend to heaven !' 
wrote down in his biography : no, sir, we'd a whooped him over the border 
that's what we'd a done with Mm and done it just as slick as nothing at all, too. 
Man the sweeps man the sweeps ! " 



But me and Jim was consulting and thinking. And after we'd thought a 
minute, I says : 

"Say it, Jim." 

So he says : 

" Well, den, dis is de way it look to me, Huck. Ef it wuz him dat 'uz 
bein' sot free, en one er de boys wuz to git shot, would he say, 'Go on 
en save me, neminine 'bout a doctor f r to save dis one ? Is dat like Mars 
Tom Sawyer ? Would he say dat ? You let he wouldn't ! Well, den, is Jim 
gwyne to say it ? No, sah I doan' budge a step out'n dis place, 'dout a doctor; 
not if it's forty year ! " 

I knowed he was white inside, 
and I reckoned he'd say what he did 
say so it was all right, now, and I 
told Tom I was agoing for a doctor. 
He raised considerble row about it, 
but me and Jim stuck to it and 
wouldn't budge ; so he was for crawl- 
ing out and setting the raft loose 
himself ; but we wouldn't let him. 
Then he give us a piece of his mind 
but it didn't do no good. 

So when he see me getting the 
canoe ready, he says : 

"Well, then, if you're bound to 
go, I'll tell you the way to do, when j 
you get to the village. Shut the 
door, and blindfold the doctor tight 


and fast, and make him swear to be 

silent as the grave, and put a purse 

full of gold in his hand, and then 

take and lead him all around the back alleys and everywheres, in the dark, and 

then fetch him here in the canoe, in a roundabout way amongst the islands, 


and search him and take his chalk away from him, and don't give it back to 
him till you get him back to the village, or else he will chalk this raft so 
he can find it again. It's the way they all do." 

So I said I would, and left, and Jim was to hide in the woods when he see 
the doctor coming, till he was gone again. 

Chabter XLI 


Jbe- doctor was an old man ; a very nice, 
kind-looking old man, when I got 
him up. I told him me and my 
brother was over on Spanish Island 
hunting, yesterday afternoon, and 
camped on a piece of a raft we found, 
and about midnight he must a kicked 
his gun in his dreams, for it went off 
and shot him in the leg, and we 
wanted him to go over there and 
fix it and not say nothing about it, 
nor let anybody know, because we 
wanted to come home this evening, 
and surprise the folks. 

" Who is your folks ? " he says. 

" The Phelpses, down yonder." 
And after a minute, he says : " How'd you say he got 

"Oh," he says, 
shot ? " 

"He had a dream," I says, "and it shot him." 

" Singular dream," he says. 

So he lit up his lantern, and got his saddle-bags, and we started. But when 
he see the canoe, he didn't like the look of her said she was big enough for one, 
but didn't look pretty safe for two. I says : 

" Oh, you needn't be afeard, sir, she carried the three of us, easy enough." 

"What three?" 



" Why, me and Sid, and and and the guns; that's what I mean." 
" Oh," he says. 

But he put his foot on the gunnel, and rocked her ; and shook his head, and said 
he reckoned he'd look around for a bigger one. But they was all locked and chained ; 
so he took my canoe, and said for me to wait till he come back, or I could hunt 
around further, or maybe I better go down home and get them ready for the sur- 
prise, if I wanted to. But I said I didn't ; so I told him just how to find the 
raft, and then he started. 

I struck an idea, pretty soon, I says to myself, spos'n he can't fix that 

leg just in three shakes of a 
sheep's tail, as the saying is ? 
spos'n it takes him three or 
four days ? What are we going 
to do ? lay around there till 
he lets the cat out of the 
bag ? No, sir, I know what I'll 
do. I'll wait, and when he comes 
back, if he says he's got to go 
any more, I'll get down there, 
too, if I swim ; and we'll take 
and tie him, and keep him, and 
shove out down the river ; and 
when Tom's done with him, 
we'll give him what it's worth, 
or all we got, and then let him 
get shore. 

So then I crept into a lumber 
pile to get some sleep ; and next 
time I waked up the sun was 


away up over my head ! I shot 

out and went for the doctor's house, but they told me he'd gone away in the 
night, some time or other, and warn't back yet. Well, thinks I, that looks 


powerful bad for Tom, and I'll dig out for the island, right off. So away I 
shoved, and turned the corner, and nearly rammed my head into Uncle Silas's 
stomach ! He says : 

" Why, Tom ! Where you been, all this time, you rascal ? " 

" /hain't been nowheres," I says, " only just hunting for the runaway nigger 
-me and Sid." 

"Why, where ever did you go ?" he says. " Your aunt's been mighty un- 

" She needn't," I says, " because we was all right. We followed the n\en and 
the dogs, but they out- run us, and we lost them ; but we thought we heard them 
on the water, so we got a canoe and took out after them, and crossed over but 
couldn't find nothing of them ; so we cruised along up-shore till we got kind of 
tired and beat out ; and tied up the canoe and went to sleep, and never waked 
up till about an hour ago, then we paddled over here to hear the news, and 
Sid's at the post-office to see what he can hear, and I'm a branching out to get 
something to eat for us, and then we're going home." 

So then we went to the post-office to get "Sid " ; but just as I suspicioned, he 
warn't there ; so the old man he got a letter out of the office, and we waited a 
while longer but Sid didn't come ; so the old man said come .along, let Sid foot it 
home, or canoe-it, when he got done fooling around but we would ride. I 
couldn't get him to let me stay and wait for Sid ; and he said there warn't no 
use in it, and I must come along, and let Aunt Sally see we was all right. 

When we got home, Aunt Sally was that glad to see me she laughed and cried 
both, and hugged me, and give me one of them lickings of hern that don't amount 
to shucks, and said she'd serve Sid the same when he come. 

And the place was plumb full of farmers and farmers' wives, to dinner ; and 
such another clack a body never heard. Old Mrs. Hotchkiss was the worst ; her 
tongue was agoing all the time. She says : 

"Well, Sister Phelps, I've ransacked that-air cabin over an 1 I b'lieve the 
nigger was crazy. I says so to Sister Damrell didn't I, Sister Damrell ? s'l, 
he's crazy, s'l them's the very words I said. You all heara me : he's crazy, s'l ; 
everything shows it, s'l. Look at that-air grindstone, s'l ; want to tell me't any 



cretur 'ts in his right mind 's agoin' to scrabble all them crazy things onto a 
grindstone, s'l ? Here sich 'n' sich a person busted his heart ; 'n' here so 'n' so 
pegged along for thirty-seven year, 'n' all that natcherl son o' Louis somebody, 
V sich everlast'n rubbage. He's plumb crazy, s'l ; it's what I says in the 
fust place, it's what I says in the middle, 'n' it's what I says last 'n' all the time 
the nigger's crazy crazy 's Nebokoodneezer, s'l." 

" An' look at that-air ladder made 
out'n rags, Sister Hotchkiss," says old 
Mrs. Damrell, "what in the name o' 

goodness could he ever want of " 

" The very words I was a-sayin' no 
longer ago th'n this minute to Sister 
Utterback, 'n' she'll tell you so herself. 
Sh-she, look at that-air rag ladder, 
sh-she; 'n' s'l, yes, look at it, s'l 
what could he a wanted of it, s'l. 

Sh-she, Sister Hotchkiss, sh-she " 

"But how in the nation'd they 


ever git that grindstone in there, any- 
way r 'n' who dug that-air hole? 'n' who " 

" My very words, Brer Penrod ! I was a-sayin' pass that-air sasser o' 
m'lasses, won't ye ? I was a-sayin' to Sister Dunlap, jist this minute, how did 
they git that grindstone in there, s'l. Without help, mind you 'thout help I 
Thar's wher' 'tis. Don't tell me, s'l ; there wuz help, s'l ; 'n' ther' wuz aplenty 
help, too, s'l ; ther's ben a dozen a-helpin' that nigger, 'n' I lay I'd skin every 
last nigger on this place, but Pd find out who done it, s'l ; 'n' moreover, s'l " 

"A dozen says you I forty couldn't a done everything that's been done. 
Look at them case-knife saws and things, how tedious they've been made ; look 
at that bed-leg sawed off with 'm, a week's work for six men ; look at that nigger 
made out'n straw on the bed ; and look at " 

"You may well say it, Brer Hightower ! It's jist as I was a-sayin' to Brer 
Phelps, his own self. S'e, what do you think of it, Sister Hotchkiss, s'e ? think 


o' what, Brer Phelps, s'l ? think o' that bed-leg sawed off that a way, s'e ? think 
of it, s'l ? I lay it never sawed itself off, s'l somebody sawerf it, s'l ; that's my 
opinion, take it or leave it, it mayn't be no 'count, s'l, but sich as 't is, it's my 
opinion, s'l, V if anybody k'n start a better one, s'l, let him do it, s'l, that's all. 
I says to Sister Dunlap, s'l " 

" Why, dog my cats, they must a ben a house-full o' niggers in there every 
night for four weeks, to a done all that work, Sister Phelps. Look at that shirt 
every last inch of it kivered over with secret African writ'n done with blood! 
Must a ben a raft uv 'm at it right along, all the time, amost. Why, I'd give 
two dollars to have it read to me ; 'n' as for the niggers that wrote it, I 'low I'd 
take 'n' lash 'm t'll " 

" People to help him, Brother Marples ! Well, I reckon you'd think so, if you'd 
a been in this house for a while back. Why, they've stole everything they could 
lay their hands on and we a watching, all the time, mind you. They stole that 
shirt right off o' the line ! and as for that sheet they made the rag ladder out of 
ther' ain't no telling how many times they didn't steal that ; and flour, and 
candles, and candlesticks, and spoons, and the old warming-pan, and most a 
thousand things that I disremember, now, and my new calico dress ; and me, and 
Silas, and my Sid and Tom on the constant watch day and night, as I was a tell- 
ing you, and not a one of us could catch hide nor hair, nor sight nor sound of 
them ; and here at the last minute, lo and behold you, they slides right in under 
our noses, and fools us, and not only fools us but the Injun Territory robbers too, 
and actuly gets away with that nigger, safe and sound, and that with sixteen 
men and twenty-two dogs right on their very heels at that very time ! I tell you, it 
just bangs anything I ever heard of. Why, sperits couldn't a done better, and 
been no smarter. And I reckon they must a been sperits because, you know our 
dogs, and ther 5 ain't no better ; well, them dogs never even got on the track of 
'm, once ! You explain that to me, if you can I any of you ! " 

" Well, rt does beat " 

" Laws alive, I never " 

" So help me, I wouldn't a be " 

" House-thieves as well as- 


" Goodnessgracioussakes, I'd a ben afeard to live in sich a " 

" Traid to live ! why, I was that scared I das'nt hardly go to bed, or get up, or 
lay down, or set down, Sister Ridgeway. Why, they'd steal the very why, good- 
ness sakes, you can guess what kind of a fluster / was in by the time midnight 
come, last night. I hope to gracious if I warn't afraid they'd steal some o' the 
family ! I was just to that pass, I didn't have no reasoning faculties no more. 
It looks foolish enough, now, in the day-time ; but I says to myself, there's my 
two poor boys asleep, 'way up stairs in that lonesome room, and I declare to good- 
ness I was that uneasy 't I crep' up there and locked 'em in ! I did. And any- 
body would. Because, you know, when you get scared, that way, and it keeps run- 
ning on, and getting worse and worse, all the time, and your wits gets to addling, 
and you get to doing all sorts o' wild things, and by-and-by you think to your- 
self, spos'n / was a boy, and was away up there, and the door ain't locked, and 

you " She stopped, looking kind of wondering, and then she turned her 

head around slow, and when her eye lit on me I got up and took a walk. 

Says I to myself, I can explain better how we come to not be in that room 
this morning, if I go out to one side and study over it a little. So I done it. But 
I dasn't go fur, or she'd a sent for me. And when it was late in the day, the 
people all went, and then I come in and told her the noise and shooting waked 
up me and " Sid," and the door was locked, and we wanted to see the fun, so we 
went down the lightning-rod, and both of us got hurt a little, and we didn't 
never want to try that no more. And then I went on and told her all what I 
told Uncle Silas before ; and then she said she'd forgive us, and maybe it was all 
right enough anyway, and about what a body might expect of boys, for all boys was a 
pretty harum-scarum lot, as fur as she could see ; and so, as long as no harm 
hadn't come of it, she judged she better put in her time being grateful we was 
alive and well and she had us still, stead of fretting over what was past and done. 
So then she kissed me, and patted me on the head, and dropped into a kind of a 
brown study ; and pretty soon jumps up, and says : 

" Why, lawsamercy, it's most night, and Sid not come yet ! What has become 
of that boy ? " 

I see my chance ; so I skips up and says : 



" I'll run right up to town and get him," I says. 

" No you won't," she says. " You'll stay right wher' you are ; one's enough 
to be lost at a time. If he ain't here to supper, your uncle '11 go." 

Well, he warn't there to supper ; so right after supper uncle went. 

He come back about ten, a little bit uneasy ; hadn't run across Tom's track. 
Aunt Sally was a good deal uneasy ; but Uncle Silas he said there warn't no occa- 
sion to be boys will be boys, he said, and you'll see this one turn up in the morning, 
all sound and right. So she had to be 
satisfied. But she said she'd set up for 
him a while, anyway, and keep a light 
burning, so he could see it. 

And then when I went up to bed 
she come up with me and fetched her 
candle, and tucked me in, and 
mothered me so good I felt mean, and 
like I couldn't look her in the face ; 
and she set down on the bed and 
talked with me a long time, and said 
what a splendid boy Sid was, and didn't 
seem to want to ever stop talking about 
him ; and kept asking me every now 
and then, if I reckoned he could a got 
lost, or hurt, or maybe drownded, and 
might be laying at this minute, some- 
wheres, suffering or dead, and she not 

by him to help him, and so the tears would drip down, silent, and I would tell 
her that Sid was all right, and would be home in the morning, sure ; and she 
would squeeze my hand, or maybe kiss me, and tell me to say it again, and keep 
on saying it, because it done her good, and she was in so much trouble. And when 
she was going away, she looked down in my eyes, so steady and gentle, and says : 
"The door ain't going to be locked, Tom ; and there's the window and the 
rod ; but you'll be good, won't you ? And you won't go ? For my sake." 



Laws knows I wanted to go, bad enough, to see about Tom, and was all intend- 
ing to go ; but after that, I wouldn't a went, not for kingdoms. 

But she was on my mind, and Tom was on my mind ; so I slept very restless. 
And twice I went down the rod, away in the night, and slipped around front, 
and see her setting there by her candle in the window with her eyes towards the 
road and the tears in them ; and I wished I could do something for her, but I 
couldn't, only to swear that I wouldn't never do nothing to grieve her any more. 
And the third time, I waked up at dawn, and slid down, and she was there yet, 
and her candle was most out, and her old gray head was resting on her hand, and 
she was asleep. 

man was up town again, before 
breakfast, but couldn't get no track of 
Tom; and both of them set at the 
table, thinking, and not saying noth- 
"^ ing, and looking mournful, and their 
': coffee getting cold, and not eating any- 
thing. And by-and-by the old man 
says : 

"Did I give you the letter ?" 
"What letter?" 

" The one I got yesterday out of 
the post-office." 

"~No, you didn't give me no let- 

"Well, I must a forgot it." 
So he rummaged his pockets, and 
then went off somewheres where he had 
laid it down, and fetched it, and give it to her. She says : 
" Why, it's from St. Petersburg it's from Sis." 

I allowed another walk would do me good ; but I couldn't stir. But before 
she could break it open, she dropped it and run for she see something. And so 
did I. It was Tom Sawyer on a mattress ; and that old doctor ; and Jim, in her 
calico dress, with his hands tied behind him ; and a lot of people. I hid the 
letter behind the first thing that come handy, and rushed. She flung herself at 
Tom, crying, and says : 



" Oh, he's dead, he's dead, I know he's dead !" 

And Tom he turned his head a little, and muttered something or other, which 
showed he warn't in his right mind ; then she flung up her hands, and says : 

" He's alive, thank God ! And that's enough ! " and she snatched a kiss of 
him, and flew for the house to get the bed ready, and scattering orders right and 
left at the niggers and everybody else, as fast as her tongue could go, every jump 
of the way. 

I followed the men to see what they was going to do with Jim ; and the old 
doctor and Uncle Silas followed after Tom into the house. The men was very 
huffy, and some of them wanted to hang Jim, for an example to all the other 
niggers around there, so they wouldn't be trying to run away, like Jim done, and 
making such a raft of trouble, and keeping a whole family scared most to death for 
days and nights. But the others said, don't do it, it wouldn't answer at all, he 
ain't our nigger, and his owner would turn up and make us pay for him, sure. So 
that cooled them down a little, because the people that's always the most anxious 
for to hang a nigger that hain't done just right, is always the very ones that ain't 
the most anxious to pay for him when they've got their satisfaction out of him. 

They cussed Jim considerble, though, and give him a cuff or two, side the 
head, once in a while, but Jim never said nothing, and he never let on to know 
me, and they took him to the same cabin, and put his own clothes on him, and 
chained him again, and not to no bed-leg, this time, but to a big staple drove 
into the bottom log, and chained his hands, too, and both legs, and said he warn't 
to have nothing but bread and water to eat, after this, till his owner come or he 
was sold at auction, because he didn't come in a certain length of time, and filled 
up our hole, and said a couple of farmers with guns must stand watch around 
about the cabin every night, and a bull-dog tied to the door in the day-time ; and 
about this time they was through with the job and was tapering off with a kind 
of generl good-bye cussing, and then the old doctor comes and takes a look, and 
says : 

"Don't be no rougher on him than you're obleeged to, because he ain't a bad 
nigger. When I got to where I found the boy, I see I couldn't cut the bullet out 
without some help, and he warn't in no condition for me to leave, to go and get 



help ; and he got a little worse and a little worse, and after a long time he went 

out of his head, and wouldn't let me come anigh him, any more, and said if I 

chalked his raft he'd kill me, and no end of wild foolishness like that, and I see 

I couldn't do anything at all with him ; so I says, I got to have help, somehow ; 

and the minute I says it, out crawls this nigger from somewheres, and says he'll 

help, and he done it, too, and done it 

very well. Of course I judged he 

must be a runaway nigger, and there 

I was ! and there I had to stick, right 

straight along all the rest of the day, 

and all night. It was a fix, I tell 

you 1 I had a couple of patients with 

the chills, and of course Fd of liked 

to run up to town and see them, but 
I dasn't, because the nigger might get 
away, and then I'd be to blame ; and 
yet never a skiff come close enough 
for me to hail. So there I had to 
stick, plumb till daylight this morn- 
ing ; and I never see a nigger that 
was a better nuss or faithf uller, and 
yet he was resking his freedom to do 
it, and was all tired out, too, and I 
see plain enough he'd been worked 

main hard, lately. I liked the nigger for that ; I tell you, gentlemen, a nigger 
like that is worth a thousand dollars and kind treatment, too. I had every- 
thing I needed, and the boy was doing as well there as he would a done at home 
better, maybe, because it was so quiet ; but there I was, with both of 'm on my 
hands ; and there I had to stick, till about dawn this morning ; then some men 
in a skiff come by, and as good luck would have it, the nigger was setting by the 
pallet with his head propped on his knees, sound asleep ; so I motioned them in, 
quiet, and they slipped up on him and grabbed him and tied him before he 



knowed what he was about, and we never had no trouble. And the boy being in 
a kind of a flighty sleep, too, we muffled the oars and hitched the raft on, and 
towed her over very nice and quiet, and the nigger never made the least row nor 
said a word, from the start.' He ain't no bad nigger, gentlemen ; that's what I 
think about him." 

Somebody says : 

" Well, it sounds very good, doctor, I'm obleeged to say." 

Then the others softened up a little, too, and I was mighty thankful to that 
old doctor for doing Jim that good turn ; and I was glad it was according to my 
judgment of him, too ; because I thought he had a good heart in him and was a 
good man, the first time I see him. Then they all agreed that Jim had acted 
very well, and was deserving to have some notice took of it, and reward. So 
every one of them promised, right out and hearty, that they wouldn't cuss him 
no more. 

Then they come out and locked him up. I hoped they was going to say 
he could have one or two of the chains took off, because they was rotten 
heavy, or could have meat and greens with his bread and water, but they 
didn't think of it, and I reckoned it warn't best for me to mix in, but I 
judged I'd get the doctor's yarn to Aunt Sally, somehow or other, as soon as I'd 
got through the breakers that was laying just ahead of me. Explanations, I mean, 
of how I forgot to mention about Sid being shot, when I was telling how him 
and me put in that dratted night paddling around hunting the runaway nigger. 

But I had plenty time. Aunt Sally she stuck to the sick-room all day and all 
night ; and every time I see Uncle Silas mooning around, I dodged him. 

Next morning I heard Tom was a good deal better, and they said Aunt Sally 
was gone to get a nap. So I slips to the sick-room, and if I found him awake I 
reckoned we could put up a yarn for the family that would wash. But he was 
sleeping, and sleeping very peaceful, too ; and pale, not fire-faced the way he was 
when he come. So I set down and laid for him to wake. In about a half an 
hour, Aunt Sally comes gliding in, and there I was, up a stump again ! She mo- 
tioned me to be still, and set down by me, and begun to whisper, and said we 
could all be joyful now, because all the symptoms was first rate, and he'd been 



sleeping like that for ever so long, and looking better and peacefuler allthe 
time, and ten to one he'd wake up in his right mind. 

So we set there watching, and by-and-by he stirs a bit, and opened his eyes 
very natural, and takes a look, and says : 

' ' Hello, why I'm at home ! How's that ? Where's the raft ? " 

" It's all right," I says. 


" The same," I says, but couldn't say it pretty brash. But he never noticed, 
but says : 

" Good ! Splendid ! Now we're all right and safe ! Did you tell Aunty ?" 

I was going to say yes ; but she chipped in and says : 

"About what, Sid?" 

"Why, about the way the whole thing was done." 

" What whole thing ?" 

" Why, the whole thing. There ain't but one ; how we set the runaway nig- 
ger free me and Tom." 

" Good land ! Set the run What is the child talking about ! Dear, dear, 
out of his head again ! " 

"No, I ain't out of my HEAD ; I know all what I'm talking about. We did 
set him free me and Tom. We laid out to do it, and we done it. And we done 
it elegant, too." He'd got a start, and she never checked him up, just set and 
stared and stared, and let him clip along, and I see it warn't no use for me to put 
in. "Why, Aunty, it cost us a power of work weeks of it hours and hours, 
every night, whilst you was all asleep. And we had to steal candles, and the 
sheet, and the shirt, and your dress, and spoons, and tin plates, and case-knives, 
and the warming-pan, and the grindstone, and flour, and just no end of things, and 
you 'can't think what work it was to make the saws, and pens, and inscriptions, 
and one thing or another, and you can't think half the fun it was. And we had 
to make up the pictures of coffins and things, and nonnamous letters from the 
robbers, and get up and down the lightning-rod, and dig the hole into the cabin, 
and make the rope-ladder and send it in cooked up in a pie, and send in spoons 
and things to work with, in your apron pocket " - 


" Mercy sakes ! " 

"and load up the cabin with rats and snakes and so on, for company for 
Jim ; and then you kept Tom here so long with the butter in his hat that you come 
near spiling the whole business, because the men come before we was out of the 
cabin, and we had to rush, and they heard us and let drive at us, and I got my 
share, and we dodged out of the path and let them go by, and when the dogs 
come they wara't interested in us, but went for the most noise, and we got our 
canoe, and made for the raft, and was all safe, and Jim was a free man, and we 
done it all by ourselves, and wasn't it bully, Aunty ! " 

" Well, I never heard the likes of it in all my born days ! So it was you, you 
little rapscallions, that's been making all this trouble, and turned everybody's wits 
clean inside out and scared us all most to death. I've as good a notion as ever I 
had in my life, to take it out o' you this very minute. To think, here I've been, 
night after night, a you just get well once, you young scamp, and I lay I'll 
tan the Old Harry out o' both o' ye ! " 

But Tom, he was so proud and joyful, he just couldn't hold, in, and his tongue 
just went it she a-chipping in, and spitting fire all along, and both of them go- 
ing it at once, like a cat-convention ; and she says : 

" Well, you get all the enjoyment you can out of it now, for mind I tell you 
if I catch you meddling with him again " 

" Meddling with who 9 " Tom says, dropping his smile and looking surprised. 

" With who f Why, the runaway nigger, of course. Who'd you reckon ? " 

Tom looks at me very grave, and says : 

" Tom, didn't you just tell me he was all right ? Hasn't he got away ? " 

" Him f " says Aunt Sally ; " the runaway nigger ? 'Deed he hasn't. They've 
got him back, safe and sound, and he's in that cabin again, on bread and water, 
and loaded down with chains, till he's claimed or sold ! " 

Tom rose square up in bed, with his eye hot, and his nostrils opening and 
shutting like gills, and sings out to me : 

" They hain't no right to shut him up ! Shove ! and don't you lose a minute. 
Turn him loose ! he ain't no slave ; he's as free as any cretur that walks this earth ! " 

"What does the child mean ? " 



I mean every word I say, Aunt Sally, and if somebody don't go, P\\ go I've 
knowed him all his life, and so has Tom, there. Old Miss Watson died two 
months ago, and she was ashamed she 
ever was going to sell him down the 
river, and said so ; and she set him 
free in her will." 

" Then what on earth did you want 
to set him free for, seeing he was al- 
ready free ? " 

" Well, that is a question, I musfc 
say ; and just like women ! Why, I 
wanted the adventure of it ; and I'd a 
waded neck-deep in blood to good- 
ness alive, AUNT POLLY ! " 

If she warn't standing right there, 
just inside the door, looking as sweet 
and contented as an angel half-full of 
pie, I wish I may never ! 

Aunt Sally jumped for her, and 
most hugged the head off of her, and cried over her, and I found a good enough 
place for me under the bed, for it was getting pretty sultry for us, seemed to me. 
And I peeped out, and in a little while Tom's Aunt Polly shook herself loose and 
stood there looking across at Tom over her spectacles kind of grinding him into 
the earth, you know. And then she says : 

" Yes, you letter turn y'r head away I would if I was you, Tom." 

" Oh, deary me ! " says Aunt Sally ; " is he changed so ? Why, that ain't Tom 
it's Sid ; Tom's Tom's why, where is Tom ? He was here a minute ago." 

" You mean where's Huck Finn that's what you mean ! I reckon I hain't 
raised such a scamp as my Tom all these years, not to know him when I see him. 
That would be a pretty howdy-do. Come out from under that bed, Huck Finn." 

So I done it. But not feeling brash. 

Aunt Sally she was one of the mixed-upest looking persons I ever see ; except 




one, and that was Uncle Silas, when he come in, and they told it all to him. It 
kind of made him drunk, as you may say, and he didn't know nothing at all the 
rest of the day, and preached a prayer-meeting sermon that night that give him 
a rattling ruputation, because the oldest man in the world couldn't a understood 
it. So Tom's Aunt Polly, she told all about who I was, and what ; and I had to 
up and tell how I was in such a tight place that when Mrs. Phelps took me for 
Tom Sawyer she chipped in and says, " Oh, go on and call me Aunt Sally, I'm 
used to it, now, and 'tain't no need to change " that when Aunt Sally took me 
for Tom Sawyer, I had to stand it there warn't no other way, and I knowed he 
wouldn't mind, because it would be nuts for him, being a mystery, and he'd 
make an adventure out of it and be perfectly satisfied. And so it turned out, 
and he let on to be Sid, and made things as soft as he could for me. 

And his Aunt Polly she said Tom was right about old Miss "Watson setting 
Jim free in her will ; and so, sure enough, Tom Sawyer had gone and took all 
that trouble and bother to set a free nigger free ! 
and I couldn't ever understand, before, until that 
minute and that talk, how he could help a body 
set a nigger free, with his bringing-up. 

Well, Aunt Polly she said that when Aunt Sally 
wrote to her that Tom and Sid had come, all right 
and safe, she says to herself : 

" Look at that, now ! I might have expected 
it, letting him go off that way without anybody 
to watch him. So now I got to go and trapse all 
the way down the river, eleven hundred mile, and 
find out what that creetur'sup to, this time ; as long 
as I couldn't seem to get any answer out of you 
about it." 

" Why, I never heard nothing from you," says 
Aunt Sally. 

"Well, I wonder ! Why, I wrote to you twice, to ask you what you could 
mean by Sid being here." 



" Well, I never got 'em, Sis." 

Aunt Polly, she turns around slow and severe, and says : 

"You, Tom!" 

<< Well what?" he says, kind of pettish. 

"Don't you what me, you impudent thing hand out them letters." 

"What letters?" 

" Them letters. I be bound, if I have to take aholt of you I'll " 

" They're in the trunk. There, now. And they're just the same as they 
was when I got them out of the office. I hain't looked into them, I hain't 
touched them. But I knowed they'd make trouble, and I thought if you warn't 
in no hurry, I'd " 

"Well, you do need skinning, there ain't no mistake about it. And I wrote 
another one to tell you I was coming ; and I spose he 

"No, it come yesterday ; I hain't read it yet, but it's all right, I've got 

that one." 

I wanted to offer to bet two dollars she hadn't, but I reckoned maybe it was 
just as safe to not to. So I never said nothing. 

first time I catched Tom, pri- 
vate, I asked him what was his 
idea, time of the evasion ? what it 
was he'd planned to do if the eva- 
sion worked all right and he man- 
aged to set a nigger free that was 
already free before ? And he said, 
what he had planned in his head, 
from the start, if we got Jim out all 
safe, was for us to run him down the 
river, on the raft, and have advent- 
ures plumb to the mouth of the 
river, and then tell him about his 
being free, and take him back up 
home on a steamboat, in style, and 
pay him for his lost time, and write 
word ahead and get out all the nig- 
gers around, and have them waltz 
him into town with a torchlight 

procession and a brass band, and then he would be a hero, and so would we. 
But I reckened it was about as well the way it was. 

We had Jim out of the chains in no time, and when Aunt Polly and Uncle 
Silas and Aunt Sally found out how good he helped the doctor nurse Tom, they 
made a heap of fuss over him, and fixed him up prime, and give him all he 
wanted to eat, and a good time, and nothing to do. And we had him up to the 




sick-room ; and had a high talk ; and Tom give Jim forty dollars for being 
prisoner for us so patient, and doing it up so good, and Jim was pleased most to 
death, and busted out, and says : 

" Dah, now, Huck, what I tell you ? what I 
tell you up dah on Jackson islan' ? I tole you I 
got a hairy breas', en what's de sign un it ; en I 
Me you I ben rich wunst, en gwineter to be rich 
agin ; en it's come true ; en heah she is I Dah, 
now ! doan' talk to me signs is signs, mine 
I tell you ; en I knowed jis' 's well 'at I 'uz 
gwineter be rich agin as I's a stannin' heah dis 
minute ! " 

And then Tom he talked along, and talked 
along, and says, le's all three slide out of here, 
one of these nights, and get an outfit, and go for 
howling adventures amongst the Injuns, over in 
the Territory, for a couple of weeks or two ; and 
I says, all right, that suits me, but I aint got no 

money for to buy the outfit, and I reckon I couldn't get none from home, because 
it's likely pap's been back before now, and got it all away from Judge Thatcher 
and drunk it up. 

"No he hain't," Tom says; "it's all there, yet six thousand dollars and 
more; and your pap hain't ever been back since. Hadn't when I come away, 

Jim says, kind of solemn : 
" He ain't a comin' back no mo', Huck." 
I says : 

"Why, Jim?" 

" Nemmine why, Huck but he ain't comin' back no mo'." 
But I kept at him ; so at last he says : 

"Doan' you 'member de house dat was float'n down de river, en dey wnz a 
man in dah, kivered up, en I went in en unkivered him and didn' let you 




come in ? Well, den, you k'n git yo' money when you wants it ; kase dat wnz 

Tom's most well, now, and got his bullet around his neck on a watch-guard 
for a watch, and is always seeing what time it is, and so there ain't nothing more 
to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if Fd a knowed what a trouble 
it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it and aint't agoing to no more. But 
I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally 
she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before.